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Given By 







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Smithsonian Institution, 
Bureau of American Ethnol ogy, 

Washington, D. C, August 4, 1910. 
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the Thirty-first 
Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, for the 
fiscal year ended June 30, 1910. 

With appreciation of your aid in the work under my charge, 
I am 

Very respectfully, yours, 

F. W. Hodge, 
Dr. Charles D. Walcott, 

Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 

lv[y^i/y. 0] iqi^ 




Systematic researches 7 

Special researches 17 

Publications 20 

Illustrations 22 

Library 22 

Manuscripts 23 

Removal of offices 23 

Property 24 

Administration 25 

Note on the accompanying paper 25 


Tsimshian Mythology, by Franz Boas, based on texts recorded by Henry AV. 

Tate (pis. 1-3; figs. 1-24) ." 27 






F. W. Hodge, Ethnologist-iii-Charge 


The operations of the Bureau of American Ethnologj^ 
during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1910, conducted in 
accordance with the act of Congress approved March 4, 1909, 
authorizing the continuation of ethnological researches 
among the American Indians and the natives of Hawaii, 
under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution, were 
carried forward in accordance with the plans of operations 
approved by the Secretary June 1, 1909, and January 7, 

During the first half of the fiscal year the administration of 
the Bureau was under the immediate charge of Mr. William 
H. Holmes, who, on January 1, 1910, severed his official con- 
nection with the Bureau in order to resume his place as head 
curator of anthropology in the United States National 
Museum and to become curator of the National Gallery of Art, 
as well as to enable him to take advantage of the facilities 
afforded by the change for publishing the results of his various 
archeological researches. Mr. F. W. Hodge was designated 
on the same date to assume the administration of the Bureau 
under the title "ethnologist-in-charge." 

In view of the approaching change and of the necessity for 
devoting much of his time to affairs connected with the 
Department of Anthropology of the National INIuseum and the 
National Gallerj'- of Art and the administration of the Bureau, 



Mr. Holmes found it impracticable to give attention to field 
research during the remainder of 1909. Good progress was 
made in the preparation of the Handbook of American 
Archeology, to which he had devoted much attention during 
the year and to which reference has been made in previous 

The systematic ethnological researches of the Bureau 
were continued as in previous years with the regular force 
of the Bureau, consisting of eight ethnologists, increased 
to ten toward the close of the year by the appointment of 
two additional members of the staff, and finally decreased 
by the death of one member. In addition, the services of 
several specialists in their respective fields were enlisted 
for special work, as follows : 

Prof. Franz Boas, honorary philologist, with several assist- 
ants, for research in the languages of the American aborigi- 
nes, particularly with the view of incorporating the results 
in the Handbook of American Indian Languages. 

Miss Alice C. Fletcher and Mr. Francis La Flesche, for 
continuing the revision of the proofs of then' monograph 
on the Omaha Indians, to be published as the "accom- 
panying paper" of the Twenty-seventh Annual Report. 

Miss Frances Densmore, for researches in Indian music. 

Mr. J. P. Dunn, for studies of the tribes of the Algonquian 
family residing or formerly resident in the IMiddle West. 

Rev. Dr. George P. Donehoo, for investigations in the 
history, geography, and ethnology of the tribes formerly 
living in western Pennsylvania and southwestern New 
York, for incorporation in the Handbook of American 

Mr. William R. Gerard, for studies of the etymology of 
Algonquian place and tribal names and of terms that have 
found their way into the English language, for incorporation 
in the same work. 

Prof. H. M. Ballon, in conjunction with Dr. Cyi'us Thomas, 
for bibliographic research in connection with the List of 
Works Relating to Hawaii, in course of preparation for 


The systematic ethnological researches by members of the 
regular staff of the Bureau are siunmarized as follows: 

Mr. F. W. Hodge, ethnologist-in-charge, when administra- 
tive work permitted devoted his attention almost exclusively 
to the editing of the Handbook of American Indians (pt. 2), 
which was so far advanced toward completion at the close 
of the fiscal year that it seemed very probable the volume 
would be ready for distribution within about six months. 
As the work on part 2 was in progress, advantage was taken 
of the opportunity afforded ))y the necessary literary research 
in connection therewith to procure new data for incorpora- 
tion in a revised edition of the entire work, which it is pro- 
posed to issue as soon as the fu-st edition of part 2 has 
appeared. The demand for the handbook is still very great, 
many thousands of requests having been received which 
could not be supplied owing to the limited edition. 

With the exception of a brief trip, Mr. James Mooney, 
ethnologist, remained in the office throughout the entire 
fiscal year, occupied chiefly in the elaboration of his study of 
Indian population, with frecjuent attention to work on the 
Handbook of American Indians, and to various routine 
duties, especially those connected with supplying informa- 
tion to con-espondents. The investigation of the former and 
present population covers the entire territory north of Mexico, 
from the discovery to the present time, and involves the close 
examination of a great body of literature, particularly docu- 
mentary records of the various colonies and of the official 
reports of French and Spanish explorers and conmianders, 
together with such special collections as the Jesuit Relations 
■ and the annual Indian reports of the United States and Cana- 
dian governments from the beginning. It is also necessary, 
first, to fix and differentiate the tribe, and then to follow 
the wasting fortunes of each tril^e and tribal remnant under 
change of name and habitat, further subdi\'ision, or new 
combination, to the end. For better handling, the whole 
territory has been mapped into fifteen sections, each of 
which has its own geographic and historical unity, and can 
thus be studied separately. The investigation includes a 


summary of the Indian wars, and notable epidemics within 
the same region from the discovery. No similar investiga- 
tion has ever before been attempted, even the official Indian 
reports being incomplete as to identity of tribes and nimaber 
of Indians not directly connected with agencies. 

In January, 1910, by request of those organizations, 
Mr. Mooney was designated to represent the Bureau of 
American Ethnology at the joint meeting of the Mississippi 
Valley Historical Association and the Nebraska State His- 
torical Society, held at Lincoln, Nebraska, and delivered 
several addresses, with particular reference to the utiliza- 
tion of the methods and results of the Bureau in local 
ethnologic and historical research. 

At the request of the Secretary of the Interior, Dr. J. 
Walter Fewkes, ethnologist, continued the excavation and 
repair of the prehistoric ruins in the Mesa Verde National 
Park, in southern Colorado, begun in the previous year. 
Doctor Fewkes commenced work on Cliff Palace in May, 
1909, and completed the excavation and repair of this cele- 
brated ruin in August. He then proceeded to northwestern 
Arizona, and made a reconnoissance of the Navaho National 
Monument, visiting and studying the extensive cliff and 
other ruins of that section, knowledge of the existence of 
which he had gained many years ago during his ethnological 
researches among the Hopi Indians. At the close of this 
investigation Doctor Fewkes returned to Washington and 
prepared for the Secretary of the Interior a report on the 
excavation and repair of Cliff Palace, which was published 
by the Department of the Interior in November. A more 
comprehensive illustrative report on the same ruins, giving 
the scientific results of Doctor Fewkes's studies during the 
progress of the excavation of Cliff Palace, was prepared for 
publication as Bulletin 51 of the Bureau of American Eth- 
nology and is now in press, forming a companion publication 
to his description of Spruce-tree House, published earlier in 
the fiscal year as Bulletin 41, Doctor Fewkes prepared also 
a report on his preliminary researches in the Navaho National 
Monument, which is in type and will be published as Bul- 
letin 50. During the remainder of the winter and spring, 


Doctor Fewkes was occupied in the preparation of a mono- 
graph on Casa Grande, an extensive ruin in Arizona, exca- 
vated and repaired by him dmnng previous years. He gave 
some time also to the elaboration of an account of antiquities 
of the Little Colorado Valley, a subject to which he has 
devoted considerable study. This work was interrupted in 
May, 1910, when he again departed for the Navaho National 
Monument for the purpose of continuing the archeological 
studies commenced during the previous field season. At 
the close of the year Doctor Fewkes was still at work in this 

. Owing to the large amount of material in process of 
puljlication as a result of his own researches or assigned to 
him by reason of his special knowledge of the subjects 
involved, Dr. John R. Swanton, ethnologist, devoted the 
year entirely to office work. Much of this time was spent in 
proof reading (1) Bidletin 43, Indian Tribes of the Lower 
Mississippi Valley and Adjacent Coast of the Gulf of Mexico, 
the result of personal field investigations and historical 
study; as well as in proof reading (2) Bulletin 46, a Choctaw 
Dictionary, by the late Cyrus Byington ; and (3) Bulletin 47, 
on the Biloxi Language, by the late J. Owen Dorsey, arranged 
and edited by Doctor Swanton, who incorporated therein 
the related Ofo material collected by him in 1908 and added 
a brief historical account of the Ofo tribe. In connection 
with his researches on the Southern tribes or tribal remnants. 
Doctor Swanton has revised and rearranged the Attacapa, 
Chitimacha, and Tunica linguistic material collected by the 
late Dr. Albert S. Gatschet and has put it almost in final 
form for the press. With the aid of several texts recorded 
in 1908, Doctor Swanton has spent some time in studying 
the Natchez language, preparatory to further investigations 
among the survivors of this formerly important group, now 
in Oklahoma. The remainder of his energies has been 
devoted chiefly to researches pertaining to the Creek Con- 
federacy, with the aid of books and documents in the library 
of the Bm'eau and in the Library of Congress, in anticipa- 
tion of field investigation among the Creek tribes to be 
undertaken, it is expected, later in 1910. 


Mrs. M. C. Stevenson, ethnologist, continued her researches 
among the Pueblo tribes of the Rio Grande Valley, New 
Mexico, giving special attention to the Tewa group. As 
during the previous year, her studies were devoted chiefly to 
the pueblo of San Ildefonso, which offers better facilities for 
ethnologic investigation than the other Tewa villages, 
although her inquiries were extended also to Santa Clara and 
Nambe. Owing to the extreme conservatism of the Tewa 
people, Mrs. Stevenson found great difficulty in overcoming 
their prejudices against the study of the esoteric side of their 
life, but with patience she succeeded finally in gaining the 
warm friendship of many of the more influential headmen, 
and by this means was enabled to pursue a systematic study 
of the Tewa religion, sociology, and philosophy. Like most 
Indians, the Tewa are so secretive in everything that pei'tains 
to their worship that one not familiar with their religious life 
is readily mislead into believing that the ceremonies held in 
the public plazas of their villages which, with, few exceptions, 
are more Mexican than Indian in outward character, consti- 
tute the sole rites of these people, whereas it has been found 
that the Tewa still adhere as strictly to many of their ancient 
customs as before white men came among them, although 
some of then- ceremonies are now less elaborate than they 
were in former times. 

While the creation myth of the San Ildefonso Indians differs 
somewhat from those of the Zinai and of other Pueblo tribes, 
it is the same in all essentials. According to their belief they 
were created in an undermost world, and passed through 
three other worlds before reaching this one. The tribe is 
divided into the Svm or Summer, and the Ice or Winter, 
people, the former having preceded the latter in their advent 
into this world, and their final home was reached on the 
western bank of the Rio Grande almost opposite the present 
pueblo. This place is marked by an extensive ruin. 

Every mountain peak, near and far, within sight of San 
Ildefonso is sacred to the Tewa people, and they make pil- 
grimages at prescribed intervals to lofty heights far beyond 
the I'ange of their hom.e. The names of these sacred moun- 
tains, with a full description of each, were procured. 


The philosophy of all the Pueblos is closely related in a 
general way, yet there are marked differences in detail. 
Although Mrs. Stevenson has penetrated the depths of the 
Tewa philosophy, she has not been able to discover any dis- 
tinctive features, it being a composite of Zuni, Sia, and Taos 
beliefs. The great desire of all these people, and the burden 
of their songs' and prayers, is that rain, which in their belief 
is produced by departed ancestors working behind the cloud- 
masks in the sky, should come to fructify the earth, and that 
they may so live as to merit the beneficence of their deities. 
The entrance to this world is believed to be through a body 
of water which the Tewa of San Ildefonso declare existed 
near then* village until certain Zuni came and spirited the 
water away to their own country. Fm'ther studies, no 
doubt, will shed more light on these interesting beliefs, and 
render clearer the origin and relations of Tewa and Zuni 

There are liut two rain priests among the Tewa of San 
Ildefonso: one pertaining to the Sun people, the other to 
the Ice people, the former taking precedence in the general 
management of tribal affairs. The rain priest of the Sun 
is the keeper of the tribal calendar and is the supreme head 
of the Sun people. The governor of San Ildefonso, who is 
chosen virtually l^y the rain priest of the Sun people, is 
elected annually, and has greater power than that accorded 
a Zuili governor. The war chief, whose religious superior is 
the war priest, who holds the office during life, is also elected 
annually, and also is a person of great power. There are 
three kivas, or ceremonial chambers, at San Ildefonso, one 
belonging to the Sun people, another to the lee people, and 
one used jointly for certain civic gatherings, for rehearsal of 
dances, and for other purposes. The religion of the Tewa 
of San Ildefonso consists in worship of a supreme bisexual 
power and of gods anthropic (embracing celestial and ances- 
tral) and zoic, the latter especially associated with the sacred 
fraternities. The fundamental rites and ceremonies of 
these fraternities are essentially alike among all the Pueblos. 
Their them"gists are the great doctors, whose fvmction is to 
expel disease inflicted by witchcraft, and those of San 


Ildefonso have as extensive a pharmacopoeia as the Zimi 
theiirgists. The belief of the Tewa in witchcraft is intense, 
and is a source of great anxiety among them. Accused 
wizards or witches are tried by the war chief. 

Many of the San Ildefonso ceremonies associated with an- 
thropic worship are identical with those of Taos, while others 
are the same as those observed by the Zuni, although neither 
the ritual nor the paraphernalia is so elaborate. Some of 
the songs used in connection with the dances at San Ilde- 
fonso are in the Zuiii tongue. It is to be hoped that further 
comparative study among these people will reveal to what 
extent the ceremonies have been borrowed, like that of the 
Koh'-kok-shi of the Zuni, which is asserted to have been in- 
troduced by way of Santo Domingo generations ago by a 
Laguna Indian who had visited Zuili. 

Mrs. Stevenson devoted much attention to a study of Tewa 
games, finding that those regarded as of the greatest im- 
portance to the Zuni in bringing rain have been abandoned 
by the San Ildefonso people. The foot race of the latter is 
identical with that of Taos, and is performed annually after 
the planting season. As complete a collection and stud}' of 
the Tewa medicinal plants were made as time permitted. 

The material culture of the Tewa also received special at- 
tention. Weaving is not an industry at San Ildefonso, the 
only weaver in the tribe being a man who learned at Laguna 
to make women's belts. Basketry of various forms is made 
of willow. The San Ildefonso people, like other Pueblos, 
have deteriorated in the ceramic art, and they have now 
little or no understanding of the symbols employed in pot- 
tery, except the common form of cloud and rain. Their 
method of irrigation is the same as that observed by the 
neighboring Mexicans, who, having acquired extensive tracts 
of land from the San Ildefonso land grant, work with the 
Indians on the irrigating ditches for mutual benefit. The 
San Ildefonso people raise a few cattle and horses, but no 
sheep. Much of their land is owned in severalty, and their 
chief products are corn, wheat, and alfalfa. The women 
raise melons, squashes, and chile. 


While marriages, baptisms, and burials are attended with 
the rites of the Catholic Church, a native ceremony is always 
performed before the arrival of the priest. Wliile their 
popular dances of foreign admixture are sometimes almost 
depleted by reason of intoxication, no such thing happens 
when a purely Indian ceremony is performed, for the dread 
of offending their gods prevents them from placing themselves 
in such condition as not to be able to fulfill their duty to the 
higher powers. 

Mrs. Stevenson not only prepared the way for a close study 
of the Tewa of Nambe by making a warm friend of the rain 
priest of that pueblo, but found much of interest at the Tigua 
pueblo of Taos and Picuris, especially in the kivas of the latter 
village. It was in an inner chamber of one of the Picuris kivas 
that the priests are said to have observed their rites during 
the presence of the Spaniards. Another interesting feature 
observed at Picuris was the hanging of scalps to a rafter in an 
upper chamber of a house, the eastern side of which was open 
in order to expose the scalps to view. At Picuris the rain 
priests, like those of Zuni and San Ildefonso, employ paddle- 
shaped bone implements (identical with specimens, hitherto 
undetermined, foimd in ruins in the Jemez Mountains and 
now in the National Museum) for lifting the sacred meal 
during their rain ceremonies. 

During a visit to Taos Mrs. Stevenson ol)tained a full 
description of an elaborate ceremony performed immediately 
after an eclipse of the sun. 

After her return to Washington, in February, Mrs. Steven- 
son devoted attention to the preparation of a paper on the 
textile fabrics and dress of the Pueblo Indians. For com- 
parative studies it was necessary to review a large number 
of works on the general subject and to examine collections 
pertaining thereto. Mrs. Stevenson also prosecuted her 
studies of medicinal and edible plants. 

During the entire fiscal year Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, ethnolo- 
gist, was engaged in office work devoted chiefly to studies 
connected with the Plandbook of American Indians, espe- 
cially part 2. A number of articles designed for this work 


had been prepared by other collaborators, Ijut were recast 
by Mr. Hewitt in order to embody in them the latest views 
regarding their subject-matter. Mr. Hewitt also conducted 
extensive researches into the history of the Indians of the 
Susquehanna River during the seventeenth century, and 
their relations with neighboring peoples, resulting in the 
discovery that a number of important tribes were desig- 
nated by the names Susquehanna, Conestoga or Andastes, 
Massawomek, Erie, Black Minquas, Tehotitachsae, and 
Atrakwayeronon ( Akhrakwayeronon) . It is proposed to 
incorporate this material into a bulletin, with several early 
maps, in order to make it available to students of the his- 
tory of the Indians of Pennsylvania and New York, and 
their relations with white people. Mr. Hewitt also devoted 
about two months to the translation of Onondaga native texts 
relating to the New Year ceremony, and began work on the 
classification of the late Jeremiah Curtin's Seneca legends, 
with a view of preparing them for publication by the Biu-eau. 

As custodian of the linguistic manuscripts in the Bureau 
archives, Mr. Hewitt spent considerable time in installing 
this material, comprising 1,704 items, on its removal from 
the former quarters of the Bureau to the Smithsonian 
building. He was frequently occupied also in receiving 
manuscripts and in searching and charging those required 
by collaborators either for temporary or for prolonged use. 
Much time and labor were also devoted by Mr. Hewitt to 
the collection and preparation of data of an ethnological 
character for replies to correspondents. 

Dr. Cyrus Thomas, ethnologist, while not engaged in revis- 
ing the proofs of Bulletin 44, Indian Languages of Mexico 
and Central America and their Geographical Distribution, 
prepared by him with the assistance of Doctor Swanton, 
devoted his attention to the elaboration of the List of 
Works Relating to Hawaii, with the collaboration of Prof. 
H. M. Ballou. Toward the close of the fiscal year Doctor 
Thomas undertook an investigation of the relations of the 
Hawaiians to other Polynesian peoples, but unfortunately 
this work was interrupted in May l;)y illness which termi- 
nated in his death on June 26. Doctor Thomas had been a 


member of the Bureau's staff since 1882 and, as his memoirs 
pubUshed by the Bureau attest, one of its most industrious 
and prolific investigators. 

As the result of a special civil-service examination held 
March 3, 1910, the staff of the Bm-eau was increased by the 
appointment, as ethnologists, of Dr. Truman Michelson on 
June 1 and of Dr. Paul Radin on June 3. 

Doctor Radin immediately made preparations to resume 
his researches among the Winnebago Indians in Nebraska 
and Wisconsin, commenced under personal auspices three 
years before, and by the close of the fiscal year was making 
excellent progress toward completing his studies of this 
im,portant Siouan group. 

About the same time Doctor Michelson departed for Mon- 
tana with the purpose of studying the Blackfeet, Northern 
Cheyenne, and Northern Arapaho, Algonquian tribes, whose 
relations to the other members of the stock are not definitely 
known. It is the intention that Doctor Michelson obtain a 
view of the relations of the Algonquian tribes generally, in 
order that he may become equipped for an exhaustive stud}' 
of the Delaware and Shawnee tribes, so important in the 
colonial and later history of the United States. Doctor 
Michelson reached the Blackfoot country on June 16, and 
within a few days had recorded a considerable body of ethno- 
logical, nu'thological, and linguistic material relating to the 
Piegan division. 


The special researches of the Bureau in the linguistic 
field were conducted, as in the past, by Dr. Franz Boas, 
honorary philologist, whose work during the fiscal year 
resulted in bringing nearly to completion the first volume of 
the Handbook of American Indian Languages. The whole 
matter is in type, 735 pages were in practically final form at 
the close of the fiscal year, and the sketches of only three 
languages remained to be revised before paging. Besides 
the purely technical work of revising and proof reading, the 
most important work on the first volume was a thorough 
revision of the Algonquian sketch by Dr. William Jones, who 

50633°— 31 ETH— IG 2 


had planned to make certain additions to the manuscript, 
i)ut whose unfortunate death in the Philippine Islands left 
his researches on the Algonquian languages incomplete. 
The revision was assigned to Dr. Truman Michelson, who 
made a careful comparison between Doctor Jones's descrip- 
tion of the language and his published collection of texts. 

Considerable progress was made on the preparation of 
the second volume of the Handbook of American Indian 
Languages. Owing to expansion of a number of the original 
sketches, which was due to the lapse of time since they were 
first recorded, the first volume had increased so much in size 
that it became necessary to relegate the Takelma to the 
second volume. 

At the JDeginning of the fiscal year Dr. Leo J. Frachtenberg 
carried on investigations under the direction of Doctor Boas 
among the Coos Indians of Oregon. He succeeded in col- 
lecting a considerable body of texts from the survivors, 
and at the same time revised the material collected several 
years ago by Mr. H. H. St. Clair, 2d. Doctor Frachtenberg 
completed his studies of the grammar of the language, and 
the manuscript of this sketch for the second volume was 
delivered and is partly in type. Toward the end of the year 
Doctor Frachtenberg made preparatory studies in the Alsea 
language of Oregon, based on manuscript texts collected 
a number of years ago by Prof. Li\'ingston Farrand on 
an expedition due to the generosity of the late Mr. Henry 
Villard. The completion of the ethnological research work 
among the Alsea has been provided for by a contritjution 
of funds by Mrs. Villard, which will make it possible to 
complete also the linguistic investigation of the tribe during 
the field season of L910. In June Doctor Frachtenberg 
visited two survivors of the Willopah tribe who were said 
to remember the language, l3ut unfortunately only a)3out 300 
words could be obtained, and practically no grammatical 

Further preparatory work on the second volume of the 
Handbook of American Indian Languages was carried on by 
Mr. James Teit, who elucidated the details of the distribution 


of the Salish dialects of the State of Washington. Part of 
this work was supported by the generosity of Mr. Homer E. 
Sargent, of Chicago. 

The special researches in Indian music were continued 
in behalf of the Bm-eau by Miss Frances Densmore, wlio 
has done so much toward preserving the vanishing songs 
of the Indians. The principal new phase that has arisen 
in Miss Densmore's work is the importance of the rhythmic 
unit in Chippewa songs. Her observations indicate that the 
rhythmic phrase is the essential element of the song; indeed 
Miss Densmore is inclined to think that the first idea of the 
song may be a mental rhythm assuming the form of a short 
unit, and that its expression follows the overtones of a 
fundamental which exists somewhere in the subconsciousness 
of the singer. The tabulated analyses show that 99 out 
of 180 songs to appear in Bulletin 45 (in press) begin on the 
twelfth or fifth, and 34 begin on the octave — a total of 133 
out of 180 beginning on the principal overtones. Of 180 
songs, 120 end on the tonic, and yet the tonic does not usually 
appear until near the close of the song. 

Melodic phrases are seldom recurrent. In the oldest 
songs the words are sung between repetitions of the rhythmic 
unit, and have a slight rhythm and small melody progres- 
sions. Rhythm varies less often than earlier words or 
melody in repetition, especially when the rhythm is com- 
prised in a definite unit. All these facts emphasize the 
importance of the rhythm, and also have a bearing on the 
problem of the development of primitive music, which 
it is designed to treat in a practical rather than in a theoretical 

The independence of voice and drum noted by Miss Dens- 
more in previous studies was fiu-ther shown by the data col- 
lected during the year; also the prominence of the descending 
interval of the minor third, and the marked use of overtones 
in the choice of melodic material. 

The songs collected comprise a group of 40 secured at 
Ponima, a remote village on the Red Lake Reservation, 
Minnesota, and the series of war songs which Miss Densmore 


is now completing and whiich she expects to finish before the 
close of the calendar 3'ear. It is the intention to combine the 
analyses of these with the analyses contained in Bulletin 45 
of the Bureau, always bringing forward previous work, in 
order that the results may be cumulative. It is IVIiss Dens- 
more's desire, before leaving the Chippewa work, to analyze 
about 500 songs collected from a representative number of 
localities, as the data derived from systematic analyses of 
that number of songs should he a safe basis for what might 
be termed a scientific musical study of primitive song. 

Miss Alice C. Fletcher and i\Ir. Francis La Flesche have 
continued the proof revision of their monograph of the Omaha 
Indians to accompany the Twenty-seventh Annual Report, 
a part of which was in page form at the close of the fiscal year. 

Mr. J. P. Dunn pursued his studies of the Algonquian tribes 
of the Middle West under a small allotment of funds by the 
Bureau, but comparatively little progress was made, as if 
was found advisable to hold the investigations somewhat in 
abeyance until two important manuscript dictionaries — one 
of the Peoria, the other of the JNIiami language — known to 
exist, could be carefully examined, with a view of avoiding 
repetition of effort. Mr. Dunn was enabled, however, to 
revise and annotate completely a text in the Miami and 
Peoria dialects recorded by the late Doctor Gatschet. 


The editorial work of the Bureau was conducted by Mr. J. G. 
Gurley, who from time to time, as pressure required, had the 
benefit of the aid of Mr. Stanley Searles. All the publications 
of the Bureau have passed under Mr. Gm-ley's editorial super- 
vision, with the exception of part 2 of Bulletin 30 (Handbook 
of American Indians), which has been in special charge of 
Mr. F. W. Hodge, editor of the work, assisted by Mrs. F. S. 
Nichols. In order to facilitate progress in the publication 
of the Handbook of American Indian Languages, the editor 
thereof. Dr. Franz Boas, assumed entire charge of the proof 
reading in January, thus enabling Mr. Gurley to devote more 
time to the numerous other publications passing through 


In till, the manuscripts of seven publications — Bulletins 
37, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, and 51 — were prepared for the Govern- 
ment Printing Office, while proof reading was continued on 
nine publications — the Twenty-seventh Annual Report and 
Bulletins 30 (part 2), 38, 39, 40 (part 1), 41, 43, 46, and 47, 
which were in hand in various stages of progress at the begin- 
ning of the fiscal year. The number of publications issued 
was five— Bulletins 38, 39, 41, 48, and 49. The Twenty-seventh 
Annual Report is in type and a substantial beginning was 
made toward putting it into page form. The proof of the 
"accompanying paper" on the Omaha Indians, by Miss 
Fletcher and Mr. La Flesche, M'as critically read by the 
authors and is in condition to be completed in a few months. 
Bulletins 37 and 43 are practically ready for the bindery, 
and Bulletins 40 (part 1) and 45 are nearly as far advanced. 
Bulletin 44 had the benefit of re\ision by the principal au- 
thor, Dr. Cyrus Thomas, shortly before his death, and a second 
galley proof was received. The first galley proof of Bulletins 
50 and 51 was placed in the hands of the author, Doctor 
Fewkes, for revision. Owing to the condition of the Bu- 
reau's allotment for printing and binding, as reported by 
the Public Printer, and on his suggestion that the work for 
the fiscal year be curtailed. Bulletins 46 and 47 were not 
carried beyond the first galley stage. Appended is a list 
of the publications above mentioned, with their respective 
titles and authors : 

Twenty-seventh Annual Report (1905-6), containing ac- 
companying paper entitled "The Omaha Tribe," by Alice 
C. Fletcher and Francis La Flesche. 

Bulletin 37. Antiquities of Central and Southeastern Mis- 
souri, by Gerard Fowke. 

Bulletin 38. Unwi-itten Literature of Hawaii, by Nathaniel 
B. Emerson, A. M., M. D. 

Bulletin 39. Tlingit Myths and Texts, l)y John R. Swanton. 

Bulletin 40. Handbook of American Indian Languages 
(Part 1), by Franz Boas. 

Bulletin 41. Antiquities of the Mesa Verde National Park: 
Spruce-tree House, by J. Walter Fewkes. 


Bulletin 43. Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley 
and Adjacent Coast of the Gulf of Mexico, by John Pi. 

Bulletin 44. Indian Languages of Mexico and Central 
America, and their Geographical Distribution, by Cyrus 
Thomas, assisted b}^ John R. Swanton. 

Bulletin 45. Chippewa Music, by Frances Densmore. 

Bulletin 46. A Dictionary of the Choctaw Language, by 
Cyrus Byington; edited by John R. Swanton and Henrj' S, 

Bulletin 47. A Dictionary of the Biloxi and Ofo Languages, 
Accompanied with Thirty-one Texts Biloxi and Numerous 
Biloxi Phrases, by James Owen Dorsey and John R. Swanton. 

Bulletin 48. The Choctaw of Bayou Lacomb, St. Tammany 
Parish, Louisiana, liy David I. Bushnell, jr. 

Bulletin 49. List of the Publications of the Biu'eau of 
American Ethnology. 

Bulletin 50. Preliminary Report on a Visit to the Navaho 
National Monument, Arizona, by Jesse Walter Fewkes. 

Bulletin 5L Antiquities of the Mesa Verde National Park: 
Cliff Palace, by Jesse Walter Fewkes. 


The preparation of the illustrations for the publications 
of the Bureau and of photographs of Indian types continued 
in charge of Mr. DeLancey Ciill, illustrator, assisted by Mr. 
Henry Walther. This material consists of 97 Indian por- 
traits from life, 121 negatives and 29 drawings for the Bureau 
putilications, 15 copies of negatives, and 676 jihotographic 
prints. As in the past, special attention was devoted to the 
photographing of the members of visiting deputations of 
Indians, since by this means favorable opportunity is afforded 
for permanently portraying the features of many of the most 
prominent Indians belonging to the various tribes. 


The lilirary of the Bureau continued in immediate charge 
of Miss Ella Leary, librarian. During the year about 1,500 
volumes and about 600 pamphlets were received and cata- 
logued; and about 2,000 serials, chiefly the publications of 


learned societies, were received and recorded. One thousand 
fi^'e hundred volumes were sent to the bindery, and of these 
all but 600 had been bound before the close of the fiscal year. 
In addition to the use of its own library, it was found neces- 
sary to draw on the Library of Congress from time to time 
for the loan of about 800 volumes. The library of the 
Bm-eau now contains 16,050 volumes, about 11,600 pamph- 
lets, and several thousand unbound periodicals. Although 
maintained primarily as a reference library for the Bureau's 
staff, its value is becoming more and more known to students 
not connected with the Smithsonian Institution, who make 
constant use of it. During the year the library was used 
also by officers of the executive departments and the 
Library of Congress. 


During the first half of the fiscal year the manuscripts 
were under the custodianship of IVIr. J. B. Clayton, and on 
his indefinite furlough at the close of 1909 they were placed 
in charge of Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt, as previously noted. 
Nineteen important manuscripts were acquired during the 
year, of which seven are devoted to Chippewa music and 
are accompanied with the original graphophone records, 
five relate to the history of the Indians, and seven pertain 
to Indian linguistics. This enumeration does not include 
the manuscript contributions to the Handbook of American 
Indians and the Handbook of American Indian Languages, 
nor the manuscripts submitted for publication by the 
members of the Bureau's regular staff. 


Quarters in the Smithsonian liuilding having been assigned 
by the Secretary for the use of the Bureau, and funds having 
been provided by the sundry civil act for the removal of the 
Bureau's property, the work of transfer was commenced on 
December 10, 1909, by removing the library from the third 
floor of the Adams ISuilding, 1333 F street NW., to the 
eastern gallery of the bird hall on the main floor of the 
Smithsonian building. The task was made difficult owing 
to the necessity of removing the old stacks and the books 


at the same time, but order was fairly established in about 
a fortnight and the library again put in service. Not only 
is more space for the growing library afforded by the new 
quarters, but increased light and facilities for research make 
the new library far superior to the old. The northern half 
of the gallery was made more attractive by painting and by 
carpeting with linoleum. It is yet lacking in necessary 
space, but this difficulty will be overcome when that part 
of the southeastern gallery still occupied by the National 
Museum is vacated. 

The offices and photographic laboratory of the Bureau 
were removed between December 20 and 31, the former to the 
second, third, and fourth floors of the north tower of the 
Smithsonian building and one room (that occupied by the 
ethnologist-in-charge) on the third floor of the northeastern 
range; the laboratory to one of the galleries of the old 
National Museum building, while the stock of publications 
was given space on the fourth floor of the south tower. 
Although the quarters of the Bureau are now somewhat 
scattered, the facilities for work are far superior to those 
with which the Bureau in its rented offices was obliged to 
contend, and there is less danger of loss by fire. The cost 
of the removal, including the taking down and rebuilding of 
the liljrary bookcases, necessary painting of walls and wood- 
work, linoleum floor covering, and electric wiring and fixtures, 
aggregated $1,000, the sum appropriated for the purpose. 


In addition to the books and manuscripts already referred 
to, the property of the Bureau consists of a moderate amount 
of inexpensive oflace fm-niture, chiefly desks, chairs, filing 
cases, and tables, as well as photographic negatives, appara- 
tus, and supplies, typewriters, phonographs, stationery, and 
the undistributed stock of its pubUcations. The removal 
of the Bureau and the assignment of its members to less 
crowded quarters made it necessary to supply a few addi- 
tional articles of furniture, especially for the library. The 
entire cost of the furniture acquired during the fiscal year was 



Pursuant to the plans of the Secretary, the clerical and 
laboring work of the Bureau was concentrated after the 
removal to the Smithsonian building by placing the routine 
correspondence and files, the accounts, the shipment of pub- 
lications, the care of supplies and other property, and all 
cleaning and repairs, in immediate charge of the office of the 
Smithsonian Institution. This plan has served to simplify 
the administration of the affairs of the Bureau, has prevented 
duplication of effort, and has resulted in a saving of time and 


The accompanying memoir on Tsimshian Mythology, by 
Dr. Franz Boas, is based on a collection of myths and tales 
recorded by the late Henrj^ W. Tate, himself a Tsimshian. 

These stories are classed as of two distinct types — myths 
and tales — so distinguished by the Tsimshian, as indeed by 
all the tribes of the North Pacific coast. The incidents nar- 
rated in the former are believed to have happened when 
animals appeared in the form of human beings, whereas the 
tales are historical in character, although they may contain 
elements of the supernatural. In the myths animals ap- 
pear as actors, and often incidents are mentioned which 
describe the origin of some feature of the present world ; but 
incidents of a similar character are by no means absent from 
the tales, especially in those cases in which animals appear 
as individual protectors and in which a supposed revelation 
is used to explain certain customs of the people. Doctor 
Boas calls attention to the fact "that in the mind of the 
Indian it is not the religious, ritualistic, or explanatory char- 
acter of a tale that makes it a myth, but the fact that it per- 
tains to a period when the world was different from what it 
is now." 

Most important in the mythology of the Tsimshian are the 
Raven myth and the Transformer myths. The incidents 
composing the former have a very wide distribution among 
the tribes of the North Pacific coast; indeed they may be 
traced from the Asiatic side of Bering Strait eastward and 


southward as far as the southern part of Vancouver Island. 
The component incidents of the Raven myths comprise 
origin tales, incidents based on Raven's voraciousness, and 
his amorous and other adventures. In the author's discus- 
sion of the myths of the Transformer or culture hero of the 
Tsimshian, he introduces comparisons with the same mytho- 
logical conception among other tribes of the northwest 

In order to afford a proper understanding of the people 
whose mythology is here presented, Doctor Boas follows 
the first section of his memoir (that devoted to the myths 
and tales themselves) with a description of the Tsimshian, 
based on their mythology, a section on Tsimshian society, 
and a comparative study of Tsimshian mytholog5^ In the 
appendices are Bellabella and Nootka tales, a summary of 
comparisons, a list of Tsimshian proper names and place 
names, a glossary, and an index of references. 

F. W. Hodge, 

Ethnolog ist- in- Cho rgc . 








The following collection of Tsimshian myths was recorded durmg 
the last twelve years by Mr. Henry W. Tate, of Port Simpson, British 
Colinnbia, hi Tshnshian, his native language. Mr. Tate died in April, 
1914. The translation of the tales as here presented was made by 
me, based on a free interlinear rendering by Mr. Tate. 

A comparison of the form of the tales with those recorded by me 
on Nass River antl on a number of points on the lower Skeena River 
shows very clearly that Mr. Tate felt it incumbent upon himself 
to omit some of those traits of the myths of his people that seem 
inappropriate to us, and there is no doubt that in this respect the 
tales do not quite express the old tjrpe of Tsimshian traditions. A 
few of the tales also bear evidence of the fact that Mr. Tate had read 
part of the collection of tales from the Kwakiutl pubUshed by myself 
in conjunction with Mr. George Hunt.' A few others indicate his 
familiarity with my collection of tales from Nass River. At the time 
when I received these tales I called his attention at once to the 
necessity of keeping strictly to the form m which the traditions are 
told by the Tsimshian; and by far the greater i)art of the tales bear 
mternal evidence of bemg a faithful record of tlie form ui which the 
traditions are transmitted among the people. 

Chi'istian mfluences are evidently very strong among all tribes of 
northern British Columbia, antl a study of the collection of tales 
recorded by Doctor Swanton among the Haida and Tlmgit ^ shows 
also very clearly that the coai-seness of their tales has been very 
much toned down. It is necessary to bear these facts in mind in 
comparative studies based on the material presented here and on 
that recorded by Doctor Swanton. I have also had the personal 
experience that informants were reluctant to express themselves 
freely m the traditional form, being impressed by the restrictions of 
what we call proper and improper. 

The collection here presented evidently contams the bulk of the 
important traditions of the Tsimshian. A small number of these 
were recorded by me in 1888, and pubhshed in my collections of 
myths from the North Pacific coast. ^ We have from the same 
Imguistic group a collection of Nass River tales.^ One of the tales 
of Mr. Tate's series was pubhshed by me with text in the Zeitschrift 
fiir Ethnologie.^ Another group of these tales was published w4th 
text in the Publications of the American Ethnological Society. 

• Publications of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. ni (1902 and 190o). 
' See Bibliography on pp. 39 ct seq. 



The series contained in the present vokime is given without text, 
partly for the reason that it lias been impossible to revise phonetics 
and grammar of the texts, partly because there is no immediate 
prospect of carrjdng through such a revision. 

In the second part of the present paper a description of the life, 
social organization, and religious ideas and practices, of the people, 
is given as it appears from their mythology. 

In the third part I have discussed certain aspects of the social life 
of the Tsimshian. 

In the fourth part a discussion is presented of the mythology of the 
Tsimshian in its bearing upon their general mythical concepts and in 
relation to the phenomena of dissemination of myths in northwestern 

The music contained in the present volume was reproduced as 
written by Mr. Tate. I presume no claim for accuracy can be made 
for it. 

I am indebted to Mr." C. M. Barbeau for the phonetic equivalents 
of some Tsimshian names used by Mr. Tate; to Dr. E. Sapir for those 
of some Nootka names. In an appendix I have given a number of 
hitherto unpublished Bellabella tales collected by Professor Living- 
ston Farrand and of Nootka tales collected by Mi'. George Hunt. 

I wish to express my thanks to Miss Harriet A. Andrews for her 
efhcient help in the preparation of the volume, and to Dr. H. K. 
Haeberlin for assistance in the preparation of the index of quotations. 

Fkanz Boas. 

Columbia University, New York, 
Summer of 1916. 




Brief description of the Tsimshiau 

I . Tsirashian myths 

1. Txa'niSEm. The Kaven legend (notes, p. 567). 


Origin of Txa'msEm 

Origin of daylight (notes, p. 641).. . 
Stone and Elderberry Bnsh (notes, p. 

Origin of fire (notes, p. 66 !) 

Txa'msEin uses the sinews of the tomtit (notes, p. 655) 

Origin of tides (notes, p. 656) 

Giant gambles with Gull (notes, p. 653) 

Giant obtains the olachen (notes, p. 653) 

Giant learns how to cook olachen (notfes, p. 653) 

Giant and the gulls 

Txii'msEm and the steelhead-salmon (notes, p. 674) 

Txa'msEm and Lagobola' (notes, pp. 666, 721) 

Txii'msEm and the crab (notes, p. 721) 

Origin of the bullhead (notes, p. 685) 

Txa'msEm frightens away the owners of a whale (notes, p. 687) . 

Txii'msEm finds a beautiful blanket (notes, p. 722) 

Txii'msEm and his slave (notes, p. 689) 

Txii'msEm kills his slave (notes, p. 691) 

Fishermen break off Txii'msEm's jaw (notes, p. 684) 

Txii'msEm and the himter (notes, p. 692) 

Txii'msEm and the children (notes, p. 686) 

Txii'msEm and the salmon woman (notes, p. 668) 

Txii'msEm makes war on the south wind (notes, p. 658) 

Txii'msEm makes a girl sick and then cures her (notes, p. 722). . 

Txii'msEjn pretends to build a canoe (notes, p. 720) 

Txii'msEm \'isits Chief Echo (notes, p. 702) 

Txii'msEm kills Little Pitch (notes, p. 683). 

Txii'msEm kills Grizzly Bear (notes, p. 680) 

Txii'msEm kills Deer (notes, p. 703) 

Txii'msEm imitates Chief Seal (notes, pp. 694, 696) 

Txii'msEm imitates Chief Kingfisher (notes, pp. 694, 696) 

Txii'msEm imitates the thrush (notes, pp. 694, 696) 

Txii'msEm and Cormorant (notes, p. 678) 

Txii'msEm and the Wolves (notes, p. 720) 

Txii'msEm and Chief Grouse (notes, p. 716) 

Txii'msEm returns to the Wolves (notes, p. 720) 

Txii'msEm invites the monsters (notes, p. 718) 

The further history of Txii'msEm (notes, p. 723) 

2. The meeting of the wild animals (notes, pp. 723, 728) 

3. The story of the porcupine-hunter (notes, p. 723) 

4. The story of Grizzly Bear and Beaver (notes, p. 723) 

5. Story of the porcupine (notes, p. 724) 

6. Beaver and Porcupine (notes, p. 724) 

7. Story of the deluge (notes, p. 727) 

50633°— 31 ETH— 16 3 33 




















































I. Tsimshian mytha — Continued. Page 

8. Sun and Moon (notes, p. 727) _ 113 

9. Am'ala' (Very Dirty) (notes, p. 723) 116 

10. The four great chiefs of the winds (notes, p. 732) 121 

11. The story of Naiq (notes, p. 734) 125 

12. The feast of the mountain goats (notes, p. 738) 131 

13. The giant devilfish (notes, p. 739) 135 

14. The hunter's wife who became a beaver (notes, p. 739) 138 

15. The winter hunters and the mosquito (notes, p. 740) 141 

10. The hunters (notes, pp. 741, 759) 145 

17. The hunter and his wooden wife (notes, p. 744) 152 

18. riucking Out Eyes (notes, pp. 746, 759) 154 

19. Tlie spider and the widow's daughter (notes, pp. 747, 750) 158 

20. Prince Snail (notes, pp. 747, 749) IGl 

21. The Otter wlio married the princess (notes, pp. 747, 751) 106 

22. The widow and her daughter (notes, pp. 747, 750) 172 

23. The mink who married a.princess (notes, pp. 747, 762) 177 

24. The chief who married the Robin and the Sawbill Duck (notes, p. 759) 179 

25. The princess who rejected her cousin (notes, p. 767) 185 

26. The bear who married a woman (notes, p. 747) 192 

27. The prince who was taken away by the spring salmon (notes, p. 770). . 192 

28. The town of Chief Peace (notes, p. 779) 207 

29. Sucking Intestines (notes, pp. 634, 781) 214 

30. Burning Leggings and Burning Snowshoes (notes, p. 781) 216 

31 . Hakiula'q (notes, p. 783) 221 

32. The prince who was deserted (notes, p. 783) 225 

33. The princess and the mouse (notes, pp. 747, 791) 2^2 

34. The young chief who married his cousin (notes, p. 792) 238 

35. The story of Asdi-wa'l (notes, p. 792) 243 

36. Waux, the son of Asdi-wa'l (notes, p. 792) 243 

37. The blind G ■it-q!a'°da (notes, p. 825) 246 

38. Local winter in G-it-q!a'°da (notes, p. 829) 250 

39. The drifting log (story of the Eagle Clan) (notes, p. 831) 253 

40. The story of AsdUda and Omen (story of the Eagle Clan) (notes, p. 832). 200 

41. Explanation of the beaver hat (story of the Eagle Clan) (notes, p. 834). 270 

42. The Water Being who married the princess (story of the Gauha'da) 

(notes, p. 834) 272 

43. The Story of Part Summer (story of the Ganha'da) (notes, p. 834) 278 

44. Explanation of the abalone bow (story of the Ganlia'da) (notes, p. 835) . 284 

45. Story of GunaxnesEmg-a'd (story of the Ganha'da) (notes, pp. 747, 835). 235 

46. Story of the Ganha'da (notes, p. 846) 285 

47. G'it-na-gun-a'ks (story of the G'ispawadwE'da) (notes, p. 846) 285 

48. The four chiefs and Chief Grizzly Bear (story of the G'ispawadwE'da) 

(notes, p. 847) 292 

49. Gau'6 (story of the G'ispawadwE'da) (notes, p. 847) 237 

50. Storj' of the G'ispawadwE'da (notes, p. 855) 237 

51. Tsaiida and Halus (story of the Wolf Clan) (notes, p. 855) 297 

52. Story of the Wolf Clan (notes, p. 857) ; 306 

53. The Prince and Prince Wolf (story of the Wolf Clan) (notes, pp. 759, 

858) 317 

54. The ghost who fought with the great shaman (notes, p. 859) 322 

55. Great Shaman (notes, p. 859) 331 

56. Story of the ghost (notes, p. 860)... 3.36 

57. The man who bound up his wrinkles (notes, p. 860) 339 


I. Tsimshian myths — Concluded. Page 

58. The brothers who visited the sky (notes, p. 861) 344 

59. Six hunters (notes, p. 861) 345 

60. The Land Otter (notes, p. 862 ) 345 

61. Tlie dehige (notes, p. 862;) 346 

62. The cannibal (notes, p. 863) 350 

63. Origin of the cannibals (notes, p. 863) 353 

64. Story of the Wolf Clan (notes, p. 863) , 354 

Supplement: Three war tales*. 355 

(1) Fights between the G-i-8pa-x-Ia'°l8 and the G-it-dzi'° 355 

(2) War between the Tsimshian and the Tlingit 370 

(3) War between the Haida and the G'i-spa-x-l;V°ts 380' 

n. Description of the Tsimshian, based on their mythology 393 

Introductory 393 

Towns, houses, household goods, and manufactures 394 

Dress and ornament 398 

Fishing, hunting, and food-gathering. 7 398 

Food 404 

Travel 407 

Playing and gambling : 409 

Quarrels and war 410 

Social organization 411 

Family life 419 

Chiefs, attendants, slaves, council 429 

Visitors and festivals 437 

Marriage and death 440 

Ethical concepts and emotional life . 443 

Religious and magical practices 448 

Current beliefs 452 

Mythical concepts 453 

Shamanism 473 

III . Tsimshian society 478 

Social organization 478 

Comparative notes on the social organization of the Tsimshian 515 

Birth, marriage, and death 530 

Burial 534 

War 536 

The potlatch 537 

Religion 543 

Secret societies 546 

Shamanism 558 

IV. Comparative study of Tsimshian mythology 565 

Introductory 565 

1. The Raven and Transformer myths of the Northwest coast 567 

The Raven mj-lh 567 

Transformer myths 586 

Introductions of Transformer tales 586 

Transformer myth of northern Vancouver Island 589' 

Transformer myths of the west coast of Washington 597 

Transformer myths of the Gulf of Georgia and Fraser River 601 

Transformer myths of the Shuswap and Chilcotin filO 

Tlie myths of Hog Fennel and Old One 615 

Comparison of Cultiu-e-Hero tales of the Northwest coast 618 


IV. (>)mparative study of Triinisliiau mythology — Concluded. 

1. The Raven and Transformer myths of the coast — Concluded. Pago 

The Raven myth of the TsimsWan 620 

Introduction to the Raven myth G21 

Raven's adventures (see p. 33) 641 

Additional ad\enture8 651 

Raven ohtains fresh water G51 

Raven paints the birds 664 

Raven carves salmon out of varfcus kinds of wood 666 

Raven marries the dead twin 667 

Raven alxhicts the daughter of the salmon chief 671 

Raven gets the soil 674 

A^Tiy Crow and Raven are Idack 677 

Raven and Eagle gather red and bla<k rod 692 

Raven marries Hair-Seal-Woman 702 

Raven steals salmon eggs 705 

Raven steals his sisters' berries 705 

Raven's gizzard is torn out 706 

Raven kills the seals 706 

Raven pretends to l)e dead 706 

Raven burns hia sister's groins 707 

Raven deserts Master Fisherman on a lonely island 710 

War with the Thunderliird ,711 

Wren kills the Bear 718 

Raven pulls off the arm of a chief 719 

Raven is set adrift 720 

Tsimshian myths Nos. 2-63 (see p. 34 ' 723 

Nass myths 863 

The Wolves and the Deer 863 

The stars 863 

\\'ar between the dwarfs and the birds 867 

Ts'ak- 868 

Growing Up Like One ^\Txo Has A Cirandmother 869 

She Who Has A Labret On One Side 870 

The Sqturrel 870 

TsEgu'ksk" 870 

Tlie spirit of sleep 871 

The owl 871 

The boys who became supernatural beings 871 

Conclusion 872 

Appendix I. Bellabella and Xootka tales 883 

Appendix 1 1 . Summary of comparisons 936 

Appendix III. List of Tsimshian proper names and place names 959 

Appendix IV. Glossary 967 

Appendix V. Index to references 980 


Plate 1 . House at Port Simpson 506 

2. Houses at Port Simpson 506 

3. House-posts at GntsIala'sEr (after G. T. Emmons i 506 

FinuRE 1. Rear elevation of house - 46 

2. Plan of house 47 

3. Front elevation of licmse 48 

4 . Stone maul 49 

5. Stone adze 49 

G. Box made of bent wood 50 

7. Large box for keeping blankets 51 

8. Food tray 52 

9. Cedar-bark mat 52 

10. Painted hat made of spruce root 52 

1 1 . Halibut hook 53 

12. Fish club 53 

13. Bow 53 

14. Stone mortar '. 54 

15. Painted skin blanket < 54 

16. Legging with porcnipine-cniill embroidei-j' 55 

17. Painted apron with embroidery 55 

18. Legging with porcupine-quill embroidery ornamented with puflSn 

beaks 56 

, 19. Spoon made of mountain-goat horn 56 

20. Ladle made r>f mountain-sheep hrirn 57 

21 . Large copper plate 57 

22. Mask inlaid with haliotis shell 539 

23. Head ma.«k attached to frame set with sea-lion bristles, and vdth 

trailer ornamented with weasel skins 540 

24. Chief's rattle 541 



Adam, Leonhard. Stammesorganisation uiid Hauptlingstum der Haida und Tsim- 
shian. ZeitschriftfiiT vergleickendc RcchUwissenschaft, xxx, 1913, pp. 161-268. 

Boas, Franz. 1. Fourth to Seventh, and Ninth to Twelfth Reports on the North- 
Western Tribes of Canada. Reports of British Association for the Advancement of 
Science: 1888, pp. 233-255; 1889, pp. 797-893; 1890, pp. 553-715; 1891, pp. 407- 
449; 1894, pp. 453-463; 1895, pp. 522-595; 1896, pp. 569-591; 1898, pp. 628-688. 

2. Die Tsimshian. Zeitschriftfiir Ethnologie, xx, 1888, pp. 398-405. 

3. Notes on the Eskimo of Port Clarence, Alaska. Journal of American Folk- 
lore, vn, 1894, pp. 205-208. 

4. Indianische Sagen von der Nord-Patifischen Kilste Amerikas. Berlin, 


5. The social organization and the secret societies of the Kwakiutl Indians. 

Report of U. S. National Museumfor 1S95, pp. 311-738. Washington, 1897. 

6. The decorative art of the Indians of the North Pacific coast. Bulletin of 

American Museum of Natural History, ix, pp. 123-176. New York, 1897. 

7. Tsimshian texts. Bulletin 27 of the Bureau of. American Ethnology. Wash- 
ington, 1902. 

8. arui Hunt, George. Kwakiutl texts. — I. Publications of the Jesup N'orth 

Pacific Expedition, in. Leiden and New York, 1902 and 1905. 

9. and Hdnt, George. Kwakiutl texts. — II. Ibid., x. Leiden and New 

York, 1906. 

10. Eine Sonnensage der Tsimschian. Zeitschrift fiir Ethnologie, XL, pp. 

776-797. Berlin, 1908. 

11. The Kwakiutl of Vancouver Island. Publications of the Jesup N'orth Pacific 

Expedition, v, pp. 301-522. Leiden and New Y'ork, 1909. 

12. Kwakiutl tales. Columbia University Contributions to Anthropology, n. 

Leiden and New York, 1910. 

13. Tsimshian texts, new series. PublicatioTis of the American Ethnological 

Society, ni. Leiden and New York, 1912. 

14. Traditions of the Ts'Ets'a'ut. Journal of American Folh-Lore. ix. pp. 

257-268; x. pp. 35-48. 
15. The mythology of the Bella Coola Indians. Publications of the Jesup 

North Pacific Expedition, i, pp. 25-127. Leiden. 1898. 

16. Chinook texts. Bulletin iO of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1894. 

17. Kathlamet texts. Bulletin 26 of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Wash- 

ington, 1901. 
Chapman, Rev. John W. 1. Notes on the Tinneh Tribe of Anvik, Alaska. Congris 

International des Americanistes, xv Session, ii, pp. 1-38. Quebec, 1907. 
2. Ten'a texts and tales. Publications of the American Ethnological Society, 

VI. Leiden and New York, 1914. 
Dawson, George M. 1. Report on the Queen Charlotte Islands, 1878. Appendix A, 

On the Haida Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Geological Survey of 

Canada, Reports of Progress for 1S7S-1S79. Montreal, 1880. 
2. Notes on the Indian tribes of the Yukon district and adjacent northern 

portion of British Columbia. Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Canada, 

1887, pp. 191B-213B. 
Deans, Jambs. Tales from the totems of the Hidery. Archives of the International 

Folh-Lore Association, ii. Chicago, 1899. 



DoRSEY, G. A. The geography of the Tsimshian Indians, American Antiquarian, 

1897, pp. 276-282. 
Emmons, George T. 1. The basketry of the Tlingit. Memoirs of the American 

Museum of Natural History, in, pp. 229-277. New York, 1903. 

2. The Chilkat blanket. Ibid., pp. 329-101. New York, 1903. 

3. The Kitselas of British Columbia. American Anthropologist, n. ^^., xiv, 

1912, pp. 467-471. 

4. The Tahltan Indians. Universitij of Pennsylvania, The Museum, Anthro- 

pological Publications, iv, pp. 1-120. 
Erman, a. Ethnographische Wahrnehmungen und Erfahrungen an den Kiisten 

des Berings-Meeres. Zeitschriftfilr Ethnologic, ii, 1870, pp. 295-327, 369-393; in, 

1871, pp. 149-175, 205-219. 
Faer.^nd, Livingston. Traditions of the Chilcotin Indians. Publications of t)ie 

Jesup North Pacific Expedition, ii, pp. 1-54. New York, 1900. 
GoLDER, A. F. TUngit myths. Journal of American Folk-Lore, xx, 1907, pp. 290-295 

(a translation, without credit, of Vemiaminoff's Tlingit Tales [see Erman, above] ). 
Haedisty, William L. The Loucheux Indians. Annual Report of the Smithsonian 

Institution for the yeax 1866, pp. 311-320. Washington, 1872. 
Hill-Tout, C. 1. "Sqaktktquarlt," or the benign-faoed, the Cannes of the Ntlaka- 

pamuq, British Columbia. Folk-Lore. x, 1899, pp. 19.5-216. 
2. Studies of the Indians of Columbia. Report of the sixty-ninth 

meeting of the British Assooiation for the Advancement of Science, pp. 497-58-1. 

Dover, 1899. 
3. Notes on the Sk'qo'mic of British Columbia. Report of the seventieth 

meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, pp. 472-549. 

Bradford, 1900. 
4. Report on the ethnology of the Si'ciatl of British Columliia. Journal of 

the A7ithropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, xxxiv, 1904, pp. 20-91. 
5. Report on the StsBe'lis and Sk"au'lits trilie.'* of the Halkome'lEm division of 

the Salish of British Columliia. Ibid., pp. 311-376. 

6. Report on the ethnology of the StlatlumH of British Columbia. Ibid.. 

XXXV, 1905, pp. 126-218. 
7. Report on the ethnology of the southeastern tribes of Vancouver Island. 

British Columbia. Ibid., xxxvii, 1907, pp. 306-374. 
Jette, Rev. PiiRE Jule.s. 1. L'Organisation sociale des Ten'as. Congres Inter- 
national des Amcricanistes, xv session, i, pp. 39.5-409. Quebec, 1907. 
2. On Ten 'a folk-lore. Journal of the Anthropological Institute, xxxvni, 

pp. 298-367. 1908., Aurel. Die Tlmkit-Indiiincr. Jena, 1885. 
LiJTKE, Feodor. Voyage autour du monde, 1826-1829. Partie historiquo. 3 vols. 

Paris, 1835. 
Mayne, R. C. Four years in British Columbia and Vancouver Island. London, 

Nelson, E. W. The Eskimo about Bering Strait. Eighteenth Annual Report of the 

Bureau of American Ethnology, pp. 3-518. 
Petitot, Emile. Traditions indiennes du Canada Nord-Ouest.' Paris, 1886. 
Shotridge, Louis and Florence. Notes on the Chilkat, The Museum .fournal, 

University of Pennsylvania, iv, pp. 81-103. 1913. 
SwANTON, John R. 1. Haida texts and mylh.'i. Bulletin J9 of the Bureau of Amervan 

Ethnology. Washington, 1905. 
2. Contributions to the ethnology of the Haida. PublieatJons of th' .Tcsup 

North Pacific Expedition, v, part I. Leiden and New York, 1905. 
3. Haida texts — ^Masset dialect. Ibid., x, part ii. Leiden and New York, 



SwANTON, John R. 4. Social condition, beliefs, and linguistic relationship of the 
TlLngit Indians. Twenty-sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 
pp. 391-485. Washington, 1908. 

5. Tlingit myths and texts. Bulletin ■i9 of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 

Washington, 1909. 

Teit, James. 1. Notes on the Tahltan Indians of British Columbia. Boas Anni- 
versary Volume, p. 348 New York (G. E. Stechert), 1906. 

2. Traditions of the Thompson River Indians of British Columbia. Memoirs of 

Ike American Folk-Lore Society, vi. 1898. 

3. Mj'thology of the Thompson Indians. Publications of the Jesup North 

Pacify Expedition, vui, pp. 218 et seq. Leiden, 1912. 

4. The Shuswap. Ibid., n, pp. 44.3-789. Leiden, 1909. 

5. The Lillooet Indians. Ibid., n, pp. 193-300. Leiden, 1906. 

WiLLOUGHBY, C. C. A ncw type of ceremonial blanket from the northwest coast. 
American Anthropologist, n. s., xii, 1910, pp. 1-10. 


a short a with a strong leaning toward e, the strength of which depends 

largely upon the following consonant. Before m, n, w. the a is fairly 
pure, like the continental a. Before ?, i, i', it is almost &. 

a long sound, always produced wilh retracted lips, and therefore more 

like a in German Bar. 

,\ distinctly sonant, but more strongly articulated than in English. 

E obscure, weak e, as in flower. 

e continental e with glide toward continental i. 

g' distinctly sonant, anterior palatal, with affricative glide toward y, 

more strongly articulated than English g. 

g distinctly sonant, middle palatfd, like English g in good, but more 

strongly articulated. 

g the analogous velar sound. 

h as in English. 

', I continental i. 

i open i, as in fti7L 

h', h'! surd and fortis of g' . 

k, h! surd and fortis of g. 

q, q! surd and fortis of g. 

I sonant I, with full glottal articulation and long continued. 

I! the same, with great stress of articulation. 

m ^ . as in English. 

m! the same, with great stress of articulation. 

n with fuller glottal articulation than in EngUsh. 

n! the same, with great stress of articulation. 

o, as in note, short and long. 

6 like o in German voll. 

d like aw in law. 

p, p! surd and fortis of 6. 

r a very weak, strongly sonant, middle palatal trill. 

« the tip of the tongue is turned up and touches the palate just behind 

the alveoli. The teeth are closed, and the air escapes laterally. The 
acoustic effect is intermediate between s and sh 

t, l! surd and fortis of d. 

u, u like 00 in root,- short and long. 

w as in Engli-sh, but more strongly sonant. 

w! the same, with greater stress of articulation. 

X ." velar spirant, like ch in Gennan Bach. 

y as in year, biit more strongly sonant, with full breath. 

y! the same, with greater stress of articulation. 

dz. Is, ts! affricative sonant, surd, and fortis, with jmrer s sound than the .■! 

described before. 

o indicates parasitic vowels which accompany some short and all long 

vowels. These are weak glottal stops with the timbre of the preced- 
ing vowel, d", for instance, sounds almost like a.i (where .4 indicates 
a very weak a), i" like ii, e" like ei. After short vowels, the sound 
resembles a weak glottal stop. 


By Franz Boas 

Culture Areas 

The North Pacific coast is inhabited by a number of distinct tribes, 
whose culture is fairly uniform. We may distinguish three groups of 
tribes — the northern gi'oup, which embraces the Tlingit, the Haida, 
and the Tsimshian; the central group, which includes the KwakiutI 
tribes and the Bellacoola; and the southern group, to which belong 
the Coast SaUsh and the Nootka. Among the last-named group the 
characteristic traits of North Pacific coast culture are weakest, whUe 
in the first group they are most strongly developed. In the following 
pages I shall give a very brief description of the material cidture of 
the tribe, confining myseK, however, to tJiose points that may help 
give the proper background of the life to which the myths and 
talcs refer. A fuller discussion of social customs, social organization, 
and rchgion, as well as a description of the life of the people as it 
appears in their tales and traditions, will be given later (see p. 393). 


The TsimsMan, who are the subject of the following sketch, take 
their name from the Skeena River, on which they dwell. In their 
own language this river is called K-sia'n, and they call themselves 
TslEm-sia'n. TsIeth- is a nominal prefix, signifpng "the inside of a 
thing;" the initial k- of K-sia'n is a prefix indicating place names; so 
that the word would mean "Inside Of The Skeena River." The loca- 
tive prefix 1c- occms in the names of almost all the rivers of this area, 
as in R-lo'sEins ("Nass River"). 

The Thngit of Alaska call the Tsimshian Ts.'otsxE'n (a phonetic 
modification of the word Ts! Em.-sia' n, m being absent in Tlingit), the 
Bellacoola call them slxl'mx-, the BcllabcUa designate them as Gwe'tEla 
("Northerners"). The Haida call each tribe by its own proper name. 

1 The notes on the Tsimshian contained in the Fifth Report on the North-Western Tribes of Canada 
(Boas 1, 1889), pp. 797-893, and those given in the Eleventh Report (Boas 1, 1S96), pp. 5S0 et seg., are em- 
bodied iu their entirety in the following description. It abo contains the notes on the Nisqa'^ (so far as 
they were not reprinted in Boas 5, pp. 651-660, 733) given in the Tenth Report (Boas 1, 1895;, pp. 569- 
5S3. (See Bibliography, pp. 39 et seg.) Wherever the data given here differ from the earlier descriptions, 
the latter are superseded. 


44 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. an.v. 31 

The Tsimshian call the southern Tlingit G-id-gane'dz; the Ilai'da, 
Haida; the Xa'isla (the most northern branch of the Kwakiutl 
tribes), G'it'.ama't; tlie G'imanoi'tx (the branch of this tribe hving 
on Gardner Channel), G-it-ld'°p; the Bellabclla, Wuisda'. 

Material Culture 

The Tsimshian, who belong to the northern group of tribes, uihabit 
the valleys of Nass and Skeena Rivers and the chamiels and islands 
southward as far as Milbank Sound. They are fishermen, who subsist 
pai-tly on the salmon that ascend the rivers of the coast in great num- 
bers; partly on deep-sea fishery, which is prosecuted on the codfish 
and halibut banks off the coast. At the same time they hunt seals 
and sea lions, and use the whales that drift ashore. The people of the 
villages along the river courses and deep fiords of the mainland are 
also energetic hunters, who pursue particularly the mountain goat, 
but also the bear and the deer. Vegetable diet is not by any means 
unimportant. Large quantities of berries are picked in summer and 
preserved for winter use in the form of cakes. The sap of the hemlock 
and some species of kelp are also dried and stored away for use in the 
winter season. The olachen is sought for eagerly, and early in spring 
all the subdivisions of the Tsimshian tribe assemble on Nass River, 
which is the principal olachen river of the northern part of the coast. 
This fish is caught particularly (m account of its oil, which is tried 
out and kept in boxes. 

Mr. Duncan, the well-known missionary to the Tsimshian, gives 
in one of his letters the following description of the preparation of 
olachen, as witnessed by him at- Xass River:' 

"In a general way,"' he says, ''I found each house had a pit near it, about throe 
feetdeepandsixoreightinchessquare, filled with the little fish. I found some Indians 
making boxes to put the in, others cutting firewood, and others (women and 
children ) stringing the fish and hanging them up to drj' in the sun; while others, and 
they the greater number, were making fish grease. The process is as follows: Make 
a large fire, plant four or five heaps of stones as big as your hand in it; while these are 
heating fill a few baskets with rather stale fish, and get a tub of water into the house. 
When the stones are red-hot bring a deep box, about 18 inches square (the sides of 
which are all one piece of wood i, near the fire, and put about half a gallon of the fish 
into it and as much fresh water, then three or four hot stones, using wooden tongs. 
Repeat the doses again, then stir the whole up. Repeat them again, stir again; take 
out the cold stones and place them in the fire. Proceed in this way until the box is 
nearly full, then let the whole cool, and commence skimming off the grease. While 
this is cooking, prepare another boxful in the same way. In doing the third, use, 
instead of fresh water, the liquid from the first box. On coming to the refuse of the 
boiled fish in the box, which is still pretty warm, let it be put into a rough willow- 
basket; then let an old woman, for the purpose of squeezing the liquid from it, lay 
it on a wooden grate sufficiently elevated to let a wooden box stand under; then let 

1 l^uoteii by .Maync, pp. L'.54-2.').i, from a letter to the rhiirch Missionary Society. 


her lay her naked chest on it and press it with all her weight. On no account must 
a male undertake to do this. Cast what remains in the basket anywhere near the 
house, but take the liquid just saved and use it over again, instead of fresh water. 
The refuse must be allowed to accumulate, and though it will soon become putrid 
and change into a heap of creeping maggots and give out a smell almost unbearable, 
it must not be removed. The tilth contracted by those engaged in the work must 
not be washed off until all is over, that is, until all the tish are boiled, and this will 
take about two or three weeks. .-Vll these plans must be carried out without any addi- 
tion or change, otherwise the fish will be ashamed, and perhaps never come again. 
So," concludes Mr. Duncan, 'think and act the poor Indians." 

Clams are dug on the beaches and are dried for winter use. This 
work devolves on the women; in olden times it was done by women 
and slaves. Mavne fp. 254) describes their preparation as follows: 

When a large quantity of these clams has been collected, they make a pit, eight or 
ten feet deep; a quantity of firewood is put in the bottom, and it is then filled up 
with clams; over the top is laid more firewood, and the whole is covered in with fir 
branches. In this way they are boiled for a da\- or more, according to circumstances. 
When cooked, they are taken out of the shells, spitted on sticks, three or four feet 
long, and exposed to the sun to dry. after whirli they are strung on strips of the inner 
cypress bark or pliable reeds, and put away for the winter store. When the Indians 
return to their winter villages they are strung along the beams, forming a sort of 
inner roof. 

A favorite dish is snow mixed witli oil. This dish is described by 
Mayne (p. 252) as follows: 

The Indians have a favorite dish at their feasts, which appears to answer to the carv'a 
of the South Sea Islands. They bring <'anoe-loads of snow and ice, and with these 
ingredients are mixed oil. and molasses if they have it; the slaves and old women 
being employed to beat it up, whii'h they do in large bowls, until it assumes the 
appearance of whipped cream, when all attack the mess with their long wooden spoons. 

[Pp. 255-256] The sea-cucimiber, so well known in the South Seas as the Trepang 
or Beche de Mer {Holothuria tubulosa) is . . . boiled and eaten fresh. . . . 

The lichen (L. jubatvs) which grows on the pines, is also prepared for food. Twigs, 
bark. etc.. being cleared from it, it is steeped in water till it is quite soft; it is then 
wrapped up in grass and leaves to prevent its being burnt, and cooked between hot 
stones. It takes 10 or 12 hours cooking, and when done, while still hot. it is prcs-sed 
into cakes. Berries when f-.esh are eaten in a way we should hardh' appreciate — 
viz, with seal oil! 

Hunters used bow and arrow and the spear, and in traveling over 
moun.tains they carry a long mountahi stick, provided at the tip with 
a horn of the mountain goat. 

It seems that in former tunes it was difficult to lay by enough food 
for the whole year, and there seem to have been periods of famine 
toward the end of the whiter before the appearance of the olachen. 
This feature is quite prominent in the tales of the Tsimshian, much 
more so than in the tales of the neighboring tribes. 

The industries of the Indians are based to a great extent on the 
occurrence of the yellow and red cedars. The wood of the red cedar, 
which is easily split, is worked into planks, which serve for building 



[BTH. ANN. 31 

houses, and which are iit ilized in a great variety of ways by the native 
woodworker. The bark of the red cedar is also used extensively for 
making matting, baskets, and certain kinds of clothmg. Strong ropes 
are made of twigs of the cedar, while others are made of twisted cedar 
bark. Formerly blankets were woven of the inner bark of the yellow 
cedar, which was sliredded and softened by careful beating, and then 
woven by a simple method of twining. The wool of mountain goats 
was also spun and woven. 

It may be said that the salmon and cedar are the foundations of 
Northwest coast culture. 

Part of the year the Indians live in permanent villages. These 
villages consist of large wooden houses built of cedar planks and 
arranged in a row facing the sea. A street is leveled in front of the 


FjG. 1. Rear elevation of house. 

houses, and the canoes are placed on runways on the beach in front 
of the village. Tradition tells of villages of several rows of houses. 
In olden times the houses of the Tshnshian were of moderate size, 
probably about tliirty feet square. The following description is based 
on the observation of a few houses seen in the village of the G'lt-qxa'la 
in 1894 : ' Wliile the house of the Haida ^ generally has on each side of 
the central Ime three heavy beams which support the roof, the house 
of the Tsimshian and of the Kwakiutl has only one pair of heavy 
beams, one on each side of the doorway. In the Kwakiutl house 
these two beams, which rest on heavy posts, stand no more than six 
feet apart.* In the houses of the Tsimshian and Nlsqa'^ (figs. 1-3) 
they stand about halfway between the central line and the lateral 

'Boas 1,1806, pp. £80-£83. 

2 See G. M. Dawson, Report of Profiresx, Geological Survey of Canada, 1S7S-79 (pis. Ill, IV, V). 
a The Social Organization and the Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians (Rep. U. S. Nat. Mm. for 
1S9S, pp. 316rtsf?.). 




walls. The house of the Tlingit, as represented by Shotridge/ is 
very much like the Tsimshian house, except in minor points. The 
posts are still farther apart than in the Tsimshian house. This 
arrangement necessitates that provision be made for a ridge beam. 
The heavy beams B rest on the uprights U, which are seldom carved. 
On top of the beams three or four supports S are laid, on which rests 
the ridge beam R. The latter consists of two parts, leaving a space 
in the middle for the smoke hole. Sometimes, but not regularly, two 
additional beams R' rest on these supports. In a few cases the central 
ridge beam is then supported by a smaller support S'. The lower end 



Oc u 









Fig. 2. Plan of house. 

of the roof is either arranged as shown in figures 1 and 2 or as indi- 
cated in figure 3. In the former case the roof supports are separate 
from the walls; beams V are laid on the uprights C, and the roof 
boards rest on the beams R, B, and V. In the latter case (fig. 3) the 
corner post P is connected with the rear corner post by a square beam 
which supports the lower ends of the roof boards. The walls of the old 
houses consist of horizontal planks of great width. The thick base 
planks of the front, rear, and sides (figs. 2, 3) are grooved, and the 

' Shotridge, pp. S6 el scq. 



[ETH. ANN. 31 

tbmner planks are let into these grooves. The two top moldmgs of 
the front are also thick planks, which are grooved. Over the door D 
is a short, heavy plank, on which rests a single thinner vertical plank. 
The construction of the back may be seen in figure 1. wSometimes the 
houses are built on steep banks, so that only the rear half is built on 
the ground. In this case a foundation of heavy cedar trees is built. 
A short log is placed with one end in the bank, the butt end standing 
out toward the beach, where the side wall is to be. Another log is 
placed in the same manner where the second side wall is to be. A 
third heavy log is placed over the butts of the two projecting logs. 
Then two more logs are put on top of the fu-st pair with their ends 
in the banlc, and thus a foundation is built up to the level of the 
embankment. This is cdvored with a platform, and the house is 





Fig. 3. Front elevation of house. 

built about eight or ten feet back from its outer edge, so that the 
platform forms the front portion of the floor of the house as well as 
a Slimmer seat in front of the house door. 

The fireplace was in the center of the house, just under the smoke 
hole. In the daytime the people lived on the floor of the house. The 
seat of the house owner was in the rear of the fire. Guests used 
to sit by the side of the fire. The beds were arranged on a platform 
that ran all around the walls. Provisions were also kept partly on 
this platform, partly on shelves, wliich were suspended from the beams 
and rafters. Sometimes young people had their bedrooms on such 
shelves. According to tracUtion there were some houses that had more 
than one platform, and in which the floors were ([uite deeply excavated. 

The building of a house of this type required considerable skLU in 
woodworking.' In former times the Indians felled large trees by 

For detailed descriptions of the industries of the Coast Indians see Boas 11. 




means of stone claisels, stone axes, and fire; but the planks used for 

house builchng were usually split off from a live tree by cutting deep 

notches into the trunk at appropriate distances and then splitting off 

pieces from the tree by means of large wedges, wluch were driven with 

long-handled stone mauls (fig. 4) ; while on the 

southern part of the coast hand hammers were 

used. After the planks had been split off, they 

were smoothed by means of stone or bone adzes 

(fig. 5). For very fine work the process of 

smoothing was continued until the surface of the 

plank had reached a liigh degi'ee of finish. The 

planks and boards were finally polished off' with 

grit stones and dogfish skhi. The art of mak- 
ing household utensils from thin planks of this 

kind had reached a high degi'ee of perfection. 

The method pureued was that of kerfiug the 

planks and of bending, after having subjected 

the wood to a steam bath. In tliis manner the 

sides of boxes and buckets were made. These 

were fastened to a wooden bottom either by 

means of pegs or hj sewmg with twisted cedar 

twigs (fig. C). 

Water-tight boxes were secured by calking the 

joints. Largo boxes of this ty])e (fig. 7) were 

used for storing provisions, blankets, etc.; 

smaller water-tight boxes, for cooking food, the 

box being filled with water, wliich was then 

heated by means of red-hot stones. 

Food trays (fig. 8) were made of large blocks of wood hollowed 

out by means of. cliisel and ax and finished with a crooked 

knife, the handle of which fitted the hand nicely. 

One of the best prod- 
ucts of the woodwork of 
the natives of tliis region 
is the dugout canoe, which 
is made of cedar, hollowed 
out, and worked down to 
an even thickness. After 
the cedar has been hol- 
lowed out, it is steamed 

and tlieii spread, and thus large canoes are made of graceful form 

and capable of \\'ithstanding a heavy sea. 

The basketry of the Tsimshian is not elaborate. Simple or twilled 

woven matting is made of wide strips of cedar bark (fig. 9). Water- 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 4 

Fig. I. .Stone maul. 




[BTH. ANN. 31 

tight baskets and hats are woven of twined spruce-root work (fig. 10; 
see also illustrations of such basketry in Emmons 1). To a certain 
extent spruce-root basketry takes the place of the small boxes which 
are exclusively used on the southern part of the coast for carrying 
water. Baskets made of woven cedar bark are largely used for stor- 
age of provisions, for keeping blankets, for box covers, for holding 
spoons, and for beiTying. 

For fishmg, hooks and harpoons are employed. For halibut fishiag 
a tackle is used with a crosspiece made of a light twig, to each end of 
which a hook is tied (fig. 11). After the fish is landed it is killed 

Fig. 0. a. Box made of bent wood. 6, Front of box. 

with a carved club (fig. 12). A great variety of forms of fish traps 
are found, in which large quantities of salmon are secured durmg the 
summci- months. Traps are also used for secm-mg land game. Small 
fur-bearing animals, as well as larger game, as bears and deer, are 
trapped in this manner. 

The bow (fig. 13) is of simple construction. It is made of a single 
piece of yew wood, with slightly curved back, flat belly, and narrow, 
round gi'ip. The arrows are carried in a wooden quiver. Arrows 
with detachable heads were used for hunting sea otter, while land 
game was hunted with aiTows having bone points. 


Fig. 7. a. Large box for keeping blaiUvets. ft, Front of box 



[ETH. ANN. 31 

Fig. 8. Food tray. 

It would seem that in olden times, practically all along the coast, the 
art of stone cliipping was not in use, while rubbed slate points and 

pecked and battered 
stone hammers and 
stone niortars (fig. 
14) were common. 

While the men pro- 
cm'e all the animal 
food except shellfish, 
the women gather 
berries and dig roots 
and shellfish. On Queen Charlotte Islands, and perhaps also among 
the Tsimsliian, tobacco was raised in okhni times in gardens cleared 

near the \-illages. The tobacco 
was not smoked, but chewed 
mixed with calcined shells. 

In olden times the dress of the 
Tsimshian consisted of a breech- 
clout, oYcr which was worn a 
blanket of fur or of dressed skin. 
The front edges of blankets m«de 
of dressed skins were painted 
(fig. 15). Dressed skin was also 
embroidered with porcupine 
quills (figs. 16, 18), aUhough 
this art was not as prominent among the coast tribes as it was 
among the Indians t)f the interior. Wealthy people used expensive 

Fig. 9. Ccchir-bark mat. 

furs for making theii' blankets, while the poor used marmot skins. 
On ceremonial occasions — that is, at festivals and potlatches — the 




leaders dressed much more elahorately. A painted or embroidered 
apron (fig. 17) and leggings (figs. 16, IS) decorated in the same manner 
were added to the blanket. The Tsimshian and Tlingit also wore 
ornamental blankets of mountain-goat wool.' Aprons and leggings 
were made of similar material. The ajiron 
and leggings seem to have been parts of the 
ceremonial costume worn at dances rather 
than ordinary dress. 

The children of the nobility were tat- 
tooed on the back of the hands and on the 
chest with designs representing theu' crests. 
The helix of the ear was perforated foiu* 
times; and large ear-ornaments made of 
long tassels of wool, with square pieces of 
abalone shell attached to them, were worn 
pendant from these perforations. Teeth of 
the killer whale were also worn as ear- 
ornaments. The septum of the nose was 
perforated, and a horizontal bar of bone, or a pendant made of 
abalone shell or of the tooth of the killer whale, was worn as a nose- 
ornament. The lower lips of women were perforated in the center, 
and labrets were worn in tliis hole. Young girls wore a thin nail 

Fig. 11. Halibut hook. 

Fig. 12. Fish club. 

with a head on the inner side. With increasing age the size of the 
labret was increased, and old women wore large wooden plugs inlaid 
with abalone shell. It is said that noble girls used to bite on a green- 
stone pebble in order to wear downi their incisors. 

Fig. 13. liow. 

Weapons were, besides bow and arrow, dagger, spear, and club. 
Wan-iors protected their bodies by means of armor made of rods or 
slats and a loose outer armor of heavy hide. All of these were painted 

1 See Emmons 2. 



IETH. ANN. 31 

with the crest designs of the wearer. Greaves were worn over the 
shins, and the head was covered wilh a hehnet. 

Household utensils, canoes, and practically all objects utilized by 
the natives, are elaborately decorated. This is true particularly of 

__^ their woodwork. The style 

of decoration is very char- 
acteristic. Only anunal mo- 
tives are applied, each design 
generally consisting of a com- 
bination of various parts of 
an animal's body, whose 
forms, although highly con- 
ventionalized, are easily rec- 
ognized. The conventional 
type of this art is based 
on the principle, so common 
in the art of children and 
of primitive people, of representing what appear to the artist 
as the essential parts of the animal, with little regard to their 
arrangement in space. This method of representation is developed 
here to a high artistic perfection. In general, the artist endeavors 

Fig. 14. stone mortar. 

Fig. ir>. I'ainted skin blanket. 

by distortion and dissection to fit the whole animal as nearly 
as possible into the decorative field. This is frequently accom- 
plished by splitting the animal in two, and by representing 




the two halves spread out; but many other processes are used. The 
forms are expressed hi curved lines, and there is a tendency to utilize 
oval fields, "which may he elaborated by a group of concentric or 

Fig, 16. Legging with porcupine-quiU embroidery. 

almost concentric elliptical or rounded designs. These peculiar 
designs resemble eyes; and the Northwest coast art may be said to 

Fig. 17. Painted apron *itli embroidery. 

be characterized by the prevalence of the eye motive. The eye is 
used with gi'eat frequency to indicate the joints of the body, the original 
idea being evidently a representation of the ball-and-socket joint, the 



[ETH. ANN. 31 

curved outline of the figure representing the socket, the inner field 
the ball. These designs are done both in carving and painting. 

Fig. is. Legging with porcupine-qiiill embroiJery ornamented with pufEn beaks. 

The colors aj^plied are principally black and red, 
although gi-een and blue also occur. Among the 
Tsimshian and Tlingit the same kinds of designs 
are used on blankets woven of mountain-goat wool 
and cedar bark. The animals used for ornamenta- 
tion are almost throughout those which play an 
important part in the m3'tholog>' and m the beliefs 
connected with the social organization of the tribe. 
It is remarkable that geometrical designs are practi- 
cally absent. Only among the Tlingit, where elabo- 
rate decoration of spruce-root basketry occurs, does 
a highly developed geometrical decorative art accom- 
pany the more realistic art before described. It 
seems probable, however, that this art has been 
introduced thi-ough contact of the coast tribes with 
the tribes of the mterior. The decoration resembles 
the designs used in the porcupine-quill embroidery 
of Athapascan tribes, and is executed in basketry 
by a peculiar method of "false embroider^-." To 
a limited extent, such geometric designs are used 
in quill embroidery applied to leggings and other 
articles of dress, and seem to have been used on old types of 
blankets woven of mountain-goat wool. The realistic art, which is 

Fig. 19. Spoon made of 
mountain-goat horn. 




based on woodwork, is essentially a man's art; the geometric art, 
which is based on basket and mat weaving, is a woman's art.' 

The products of different parts of the country and of different 
tribes were so varied, that a lively trade existed all along the coast. 
The Tsimshian sold to the Ilaida, in 
exchange for canoes, particularly 
boxes of olachen oil, carved spoons of 
mountain-goat horn (fig. 19) and 
bighorn-sheep horn (fig. 20), wool 
and woolen blankets. Dentalia, 

Fig. Cl. Lcrsie copper plate. 

plates made in 
copper (fig. 21), 
pot latches. 

olden times of native 
represented high values 

Fig. lio. LaJle made of mutmtain-sheep 

abalone shells, copper, and 
slaves were also important 
in intertribal trade. Dried 
salmon, halibut, and other 
kinds of staple food, were 
also sold in exchange for 
fimi and other valuables. It 
is said that blankets made 
of marmot skins sewed 
together were a standard of 
value. The curious copper 
copper, later of imported 
These were used only at 

* For details in regard lu this subject see Boas b; Emmons 1. 2; Willoughby. 

1. Txa'msem (The Raven Legend)* 

(l) ORIGIN OF txa'msem 

At one time the whole woi'ld was covered with darlcness. At the 
soutliern point of Queen Charlotte Islands there was a to-mi m which 
the animals lived. Its name was Kmigalas.^ A chief and his wife were 
living there, and with them a boy, their only child, who was loved 
very much by his parents. Therefore his father tried to keep him 
out of danger. He built for his son a bed above his own, in the rear 
cf his large hoxise. He washed him regularly, and the boy grew up 
to be a youth. 

When he was quite large the youth became iU, and, being very sick, 
it was not long before he died. Therefore the hearts of his ])arents 
were very sad. They cried on account of their beloved chUd. The 
chief invited his tribe, and all the (animal) people went to the chief's 
house and entered. Then the chief ordered the chUd's body to be 
laid out; and he said, "Take out his intestiues." His attendants laid 
out the body of the chief's child, took out the intestines, burned them 
at the rear of the chief's house, and placed the body on the bed which 
his father had buUt for his son. The chief and the chieftauioss 
wailed every morning under the corpse of their dead son, and his 
tribe cried with them. They did so every day after the young 
man's death. 

One morning before daylight came, the chieftainess went again to 
waU. She arose, and looked uji to where her son was lying. There 
she saw a youth, bright as fire, lying where the body of their son had 
been. Therefore she called her husband, and said to him, "Our 
beloved child has come back to life." Therefore the chief arose and 
went to the foot of the ladder wliich reached to the place where the 
body had been. He went up to his son, and said, "Is it you, my 
beloved son? Is it you?" Then the shinmg youth said, "Yes, it 
is I." Then suddenly gladness touched the hearts of the parents. 

The tribe entered again to console their chief and their chieftainess. 
When the people entered, they were much surprised to see the shining 
youth there. He spoke to them. "Heaven was much annoyed by 
your constant wailing, so He sent me down to comfort your miads." 
The great tribe of the chief were very glad because the prmce lived 
again among them. His parents loved him more than ever. 

1 Notes, pp. 634, 636. 

2 rrobably Haida Kii'nxalas (see Swanton 2, p. 27S, town No. 31), the town of the Eagle family 
Q!o'na qc'^awa-i. 



The shining youth ate very little. He staid there a long time, and 
he did not eat at aU; he only chewed a little fat, but he did not eat 
any. The chief had two gi'eat slaves — a miserable man and his wife. 
The great slaves were (called) Mouth At Each End. Eveiy morning 
they brought all kiuds of food into the house. One day, when they 
came in from where they had been, they brought a large cut of whale 
meat. They threw it on the fu-e and ate it. They did this every 
time they came back from huntmg. Then the chieftainess tried to 
give food to her son who had come back to life, but he declined it and 
lived without food. The chieftainess was very anxious to give her 
son something to eat. She was afraid that her son would die again. 
On the following day the shining youth took a walk to refresh himself. 
As soon as he had gone out, the chief went up the ladder to where he 
thought his son had his bed. Behold, thei'e was the corpse of his own 
son! Nevertheless he loved his new child. 

One day the chief and chieftainess went out to visit the tribe, and 
the two great slaves entered, carryuig a large piece of whale meat. 
They threw the whale fat into the fire and ate of it. Then the shinmg 
youth came toward them and questioned the two great slaves, 
asking them, "What makes you so hungry?" The two gi-eat slaves 
replied, "We are hungiy because we have eaten scabs from our 
shm bones." Therefore the shuiing youth said to them, "Do you 
like what you eat?" Then the slave-man said, "Yes, my dear!" 
Therefore the prmce replied, " I will also try the scabs you speak about." 
Then the slave-woman said, "No, my dear! Don't desii-e to be as 
we are." The prince repeated, "I wiU just taste it and spit it out 
again." Then the male slave cut off a small piece of whale meat 
and put in a small scab. Then the female slave scolded her husband 
for what he was doing. "O bad man! what have you been doing to 
the poor prince?" The shining prince took up the piece of meat 
with the scab in it, put it into his mouth, tasted it, and spit it out 
again. Then he went back to his bed. When the chief and the 
chieftainess came back from theii- visit, the prmce said to his mother. 
"Mother, I am very hungry." The chieftainess said at once, "Oh, 
dear, is it true, is it true ?" She ordered her slaves to feed her beloved 
son with rich food. The slaves prejiared rich food, and the youth 
ate it all. Again he was veiy hungiy and ate everything, and the 
slaves gave him more to eat than before. 

lie did so for several days, and soon all the provisions in his father's 
house were at an end. Then the prince went to every house of 
his father's people and ate the provisions that were in the houses. 
This was because he had tasted the scabs of Mouth At Each End. 
Now the provisions were all used up. The chief knew that the pro- 
visions of his tribe were almost exhausted. Therefore the great chief 

60 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

felt sad and ashamed on account of what his son had done, for lie 
had devoured almost all the provisions of his tribe. 

Therefore the chief invited all the people in, and said, "I will send 
my child away before he eats all our provisions and we lack food." 
Then all the people agreed to what the chief had said. As soon as 
they had all agreed, the chief called his son. He told him to sit dowai 
in the rear of the house. As soon as he had sat down there, the chief 
spoke to his son, and said, "My dear son, I shall send you away inland 
to the other side of the ocean." ^ He gave his son a small round 
stone and a raven blanket and a dried sea-lion bladder filled with all 
kuids of berries. The chief said to his son, " When you fly across the 
ocean and feel weaiy, drop this round stone on the sea, and you shall 
find rest on it; and when you reach the mainland, scatter the various 
kinds of fruit all over the land ; and also scatter the salmon roe in all 
the rivers and brooks, and also the trout roe; so that you may not 
lack food as long as you live in this world." Then he started. His 
father named him Giant. 


Giant flew inland (toward the east) . He went on for a long time, 
and finally he was very tired, so he dropped down on the sea the little 
round stone which his father had given to him. It became a lai'ge 
rock way out at sea. Giant rested on it and refreshed himself, and 
took off the raven skm. 

At that time there was always darkness. There was no daylight 
then. Again Giant put on the raven skin and flew toward the east. 
Now, Giant reached the mainland and arrived at the mouth of Skeena 
River. There he stopped and scattered the salmon roe and trout roe. 
He said while he was scattering them, "Let every river and creek 
have all kinds of fish ! " Then he took the dried sea-lion bladder and 
scattered the fruits all over the land, saying, "Let every mountain, 
hill, valley, plain, the whole land, be full of fruits! " 

The whole world was still covered with darkness. When the sky 
was clear, the people would have a little light from the stars; and 
when clouds were in the sky, it was very dark all over the land. The 
people were distressed by this. Then Giant thought that it would 
be hard for him to obtain his food if it were always dark. He 
remembered that there was light in heaven, whence he had come. 
Then he made up his mind to bring down the light to our world. On 
the following day Giant put on his raven skin, wliich liis father the 
chief had given to him, and flew upward. Finally he found the hole 
in the sky, and he flew through it. Giant reached the inside of the 
sky. He took off the raven skin and put it down near the hole of 

1 Meaning to the mainland.— I*'. B. s Notes, p. 041. 



the sky. He went on, and came to a spring nea-r the house of the 
cliief of heaven. There he sat down and waited. Then the chief's 
daughter came out, carr^ying a small bucket in which she was about 
to fetch water. She went down to the big spring in front of her 
father's house. Wlien Giant saw her coming along, he transformed 
himself into the leaf of a cedar and floated on the water. The chief's 
daughter dipped it up in her bucket and di-ank it. Then she returned 
to her father's house and entered. After a short time she was with 
child, and not long after she gave birth to a boy. Then the oliief 
and the chieftainess were very glad. They washed the boy regularly. 
He began to gi-ow up. Now he was beginning to creep about. They 
washed him often, and the chief smoothed and cleaned the floor of 
the house. Now the child was strong and crept about every day. 
He began to cry, " Hama, Tiama!" He was crying all the time, and 
the great chief was troubled, and called in some of his slaves to carry 
about the boy. The slaves did so, but he would not sleep for several 
nights. He kept on cryuig, "llama, Tmrna! " Therefore the chief 
invited all his wise men, and said to them that he did not know what 
the boy wanted and why he was crying. He wanted the box that 
was hanging in the chief's house. 

Tliis box, in which the daylight was kept, was hanging in one corner 
of the house. Its name was md. Giant had knowii it before he 
descended to our world. The cMId cried for it. The chief was an- 
noyed, and the wise men listened to what the cliief told them. Wlien 
the wise men heard the child crying aloud, they did not know what 
he was saying. He was cr^dng all the time, "Hama, Tiamu, Jiama!" 

One of the mse men, who understood him, said to the chief, "He 
is crying for the md." Therefore the chief ordered it to be taken 
down. The man put it down. They put it down near the fii-e, and 
the boy sat down near it and ceased crying. He stopped crying, for 
he was glad. Then he rolled the md about inside the house. He did 
so for four days. Sometimes he would carry it to the door. Now 
the great chief did not think of it. He had quite forgotten it. Then 
the boy really took up the md, put it on his shoulders, and ran out 
with it. While he was running, some one said, "Giant is rumiing 
away with the md!" He ran away, and the hosts of heaven pursued 
him. They shouted that Giant was running away with the md. He 
came to the hole of the sky, put on the skin of the raven, and flew 
down, carrymg the md. Then the hosts of heaven returned to tlieir 
houses, and he flew down with it to our world. 

At that time the world was still dark.' He arrived farther up the 
river, and went down river. Giant had come down near the mouth 
of Nass River. He went to the mouth of Nass River. It was always 
dark, and he carried the md about with him. He went on, and went 

' Notes, p. 649. 

62 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. axn. 31 

up the river in the dark. A little farther up he heard the noise of 
the people, who were catching olachen in bag nets in their canoes. 
There was much noise out on the river, because they were working 
hard. Giant, who was sitting on the shore, said, "Throw ashore 
one of the things that you are catchhig, my dear people!" After 
a while. Giant said again, "Throw ashore one of the things you are 
catching!" Then those on the water scolded him. " Where did you 
come from, great liar, whom they call Txa'msEm?" The (animal) 
people knew that it was Giant. Therefore they made fun of him. 
Then Giant said again, " Throw ashore one of the things that you are 
catching, or I shall break the md!" and all those who were on the 
water answered, "Where did you get what you are talking about, 
you liar?" Giant said once more, "Tlirow ashore one of the things 
that you are catching, my dear people, or I shall break the md for 
you!" One person replied, scolding him. Giant had repeated his 
request four times, but those on the water refused what he had asked 
for. Therefore Giant broke the md. It broke, and it was dayhght. 
The north wind began to blow hard; and all the fishermen, the 
Frogs, were driven away by the north wind. All the Frogs who had 
made fun of Giant were driven away down river until they arrived 
at one of the large mountainous islands. Here the Frogs tried to 
chmb up the rock; but they stuck to the rock, being frozen by the 
north wnd, and became stone. They are still on the rock. The 
lisliing Frogs named him Txa'msEm, and all the world had the day- 


TxamsEm went along up Nass River, and came to the place where 
Stone and Elderberry Bush were quarrehng, discussing who should 
give bh-th first. Stone wished to give bhth fu-st, and Elderberry 
Bush also wished to give birth first. TxamsEm listened to what they 
were saying. Stone said, "If I give birth first, then people will 
live a long time; if you give bii'th fu'st, people will live a short time." 
Giant went to the place where they were and looked, and, behold! 
Stone had almost given birth to her child. Then he went to Elder- 
berry Bush and touched her. He said, "Give birth first. Elder- 
berry Bush." Then Elderberry Bush gave birth to her child. For 
that reason people do not live many years. Because Elderberry 
Bush gave birth to her child fust, man dies quicldy. If Stone had 
given birth first to her child, it would not be so. That is what oiu- 
people say. That is the story of Elderberry Bush's cliildren; and 
theT.efore the Indians are much troubled because Stone did not give 
birth to her children fu-st. For this reason the people die soon, and 
elderberry bushes grow on their graves. 

1 Notes, p. 603. 



Again TxamsEin went on, and the people began to multiply on the 
earth. However, they were ilistressed because thej^ had no fire to cook 
their food and to warm themselves in winter ; and Giant remembered 
that they had fire m the village of the animals. Therefore he tried to 
fetch it for the people. He started, wearmg his raven blanket which 
his father, the cliief , had given to him before he left yonder. Soon he 
arrived; but the people of his father's village refused to let him have 
fire, and sent hun away from their town. He tried in every way to 
get fire, but he failed, for the people would not let him have it. 

Finally he sent one of his attendants, the Sea Gull, to carry a 
message to the people; and this is the message the Sea Gull carried: 
"A good-looking young chief will come soon to the people to have a 
dance in your chief's house." Then the whole tribe made ready to 
welcome the young chief. Then Giant caught a deer and skinned it. 
At that time the deer had a long tail, like a wolf's taU. Giant tied 
pitch wood to the long taU of the deer. He borrowed the canoe of 
the great Shark, and they came to the village, where the chief had a 
larsre fire in his house. The big Shark's canoe was full of crows and 
sea guUs; and Giant was sitting in the center of the canoe, dressed in 
his deer skia. Then all the people entered. They built a large fire, 
larger than it had been before, and the great house of the chief was 
full of his tribesmen. Then all the newcomers were seated on one 
side of the large house, ready to sing. Soon the young chief began 
to dance, and all his companions beat time with their sticks, and one 
had a drum. They all sang a song, and some of the birds clapped 
their hands, and they all sang together. 

The Deer entered at the door. He looked around, and entered 
leaping and dancing, and went around the large fire. Then all the 
people were well pleased to see bim dance. Finally he struck his tail 
over the fire, and the pitch wood on his tail caught fire. He ran out 
with the firebrantl at his tail and swam on the water. Then all his 
companions flew away out of the house. The great Shark canoe also 
left. The people tried to catch the Deer, intending to kLU him. He 
jumped and swam quickly, and the pitch wootl at his tail was burning. 
When he arrived at one of the islands, he went ashore quickly, 
struck a fir tree with his tail, and said, "You shall burn as long as the 
years last." For that reason the ileer has a short black tail. 

(5) txa'msem uses the sinews of the tomtit ^ 

TxamsEm walked along the seashore and saw a long mass of seaweed 
way out at sea. There were veiy large sea eggs on it. TxamsEm was 
anxious to eat them, but he could not get them because the seaweed 

I Notes, p. 660. - N'otes, p. 655. 

64 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY . [eth. ax.n. 31 

was too far out to sea. Therefore he made up his miiad to invite in 
all tlie people from the land and from the sea; and when all the guests 
were in his house, TxamsEm spoke: "Friends, I have invited you in 
because I want to borrow your sinews." All the people promised to 
help him, and fu'st he took the sinew of the large whale. TxamsEm 
threw it out to sea, trying to reach the large sea egg that he saw on 
the long mass of seaweed which was floating on the sea. The whale 
sinew, however, broke. He tried the smews of all the different 
animals, one at a time, but none of them were satisfactory. Finally 
he said , ' ' Whose sinews have I not tried yet ? ' ' Then the little Tomtit 
stood up and said, "Sir, you may take my sinews;" and he took out 
the sinews from his little belly and held them out to him. They 
were as thin as spider web. When all liis smews were out, he said, 
"Now, master, take hold of one end of my sinews and throw them 
out where the long mass of seaweed is; then we shall get your sea 
egg." TxamsEm could hardly hold the small sinew of the Tomtit. 
Nevertheless he tried. Finally Tomtit took hold of one end of (the 
rope made of) his own sinews, went down to the beach, and tlirew 
(the rope made of) his own smews seaward to the place where the 
long mass of seaweed was, and caught it. Then all the people pulled 
at it, and the sinews of the little Tomtit were stronger than the sinews 
of all the other animals. Soon TxamsEm had a large sea egg. He 
ate it and kept the shell. He was well pleased to have eaten the 
large sea egg. Then he gave power to Tomtit to be a chief overall 
the anunals. Then TxamsEra went on. 


Again TxamsEm took his raven blanket and fiew over the ocean with 
the firebrand m his hands. He arrived at the mainland and came to 
another house, which belonged to a very old woman, who held the 
tide-line in her hand. At that time the tide was always high, and 
did not turn for several days, until the new moon came, antl all the 
people were anxious for clams and other sea food. Giant entered 
and found the old woman holdmg the tide-lme m her hand. He sat 
down and said, "Oh, I have had enough, I have had all the clams I 
need!" The old woman said at once, " How is that possible ? How 
can that be ? Wliat are you talking about. Giant ? " — "Yes, I have had 
clams enough." The old woman sai4, "No, it is not true." There- 
fore Giant pushed her, so that she fell back, and he threw dust into 
her eyes and her mouth. Then she let the tide-line go, so that the 
tide ran out very low, and all the clams and shellfish were on the 
beach. So Giant carried up as much as he could. The tide was still 
low when he re-entered. The old woman said, "Giant, come and heal 
my eyes! I am blind from the dust." Giant said, "Will you 

1 Notes, p. 656. 


promise to slacken the tide-liiie twice a tlay?" She agreed, and 
Giant cured her eyes. He had eaten all the shellfish that he had 
carried up. 

The old woman said, "How can you get water to drink, Giant?" 
He answered that it was under the roots of the httle alder tree.' Soon 
Giant was thirsty, and he went to drink water, but he could not find 
any. Finally he went up Skeena Kiver, and there he found water, 
because the old woman had dried up all the brooks and creeks. 
Therefore the tide turns twice every day, going up and dowTi. 


He went on and made a house. He saw a sea guU flying about, and 
said, "Hey!" The Gull contmued to fly about, crying, "Ha, ha!" 
Then Giant ran about and made sticks, intending to gamble, and the 
Sea Gull came to him. They began to gamble, and soon they began 
to quarrel; and Giant said, "Tlfis is my gambhng-stick." Sea Gull 
said, "No, it is my gambling-stick." Therefore Giant threw the Gull 
on his back and stepped on his stomach, so that the Gull vomited 
one olachen. Giant took it, and the GuU flew away. 


On the following day Giant made a little canoe of elderberry wood, 
went down the river, and landed at the beach m front of the house of a 
great chief, Kuwask. After he had rubbed the spawn of the olachen 
over the inside of his canoe, he entered, and said, "Oh! my clothes 
are wet, because the Tsimshian were workuig hard last night, fishuig 
for olachen. Many persons caught two or thi-ee canoe-loads of 
olachen up the river last night." Then the people in the chief's 
house said, "Oh, how could olachen get there? Their time has not 
come yet. They wiU go up four months and a half hence." Tliey 
did not believe what Giant said, and contmued, "You are a liar, you 
are a liar!" Giant said, "Look at the inside of my canoe! There 
are spawn of olachen in it." The young men went down, and saw 
that the whole inside of the canoe was full of olachen spawn; and 
when they lifted up the stern-sheets, they found the tail of an olachen. 
Therefore the young men returned, went up, and said, "It is true," 
and showed the olachen tail. Then the gi-eat chief said, "Perhaps 
those foolish young olachens have gone(?)." Moreover, he said, 
"Go and ask the several chiefs in the village — ask Burst lender The 
Stern Sheets, ask Stick To The Hot Stone, ask Half Eaten By The 
Goose, ask Dried In Olachen Box.^ See what they say!" Then the 
person went to ask them. He was sent by the chief, and they all agreed. 
Therefore the chief ordered the men who were standing m the four 

'Seep. 69. 'Notes, p. 053. 

^ These are names of the various olachen chiefs, and refer to the conditions of the fish during the process 
of catching and trying out the oil.— F. B. 

50633°— 31 ETH— 16 5 

66 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

corners of his house to break the corners. They did so, and the 
olachen went down into the water. Therefore Giant ran down to 
the water, stepped into the river, and shouted to the olachen to go 
up the river. He said, "Go tip on both sides of the river!" Then 
he went aboard his canoe, filled it with olachen, and paddled along to 
Nass River, shouting all the while. Therefore on Nass River the 
olachen fishing begins very early in spring. 


Giant camped at a certain place. He did not know how to cook 
his olachen. A woman came to the place where he had camped, and 
Giant spoke kindly to her, like a brother to his sister. Her name was 
Tsowatz. She was the Oil Woman, of dark complexion. Giant 
asked her, "Tell me, how shall I cook my olachen?" Oil Woman 
told him, "You must heat stones; and when they are red-hot, pour 
four pails of water into a large cedar box." Thus spoke Oil Woman 
to Giant. She said also, "Make a pair of tongs of cedar wood for 
handling red-hot stones. The tongs should be a fathom and a half 
long. Throw red-hot stones into a box; and when the water bods, 
fiU five baskets with olachen; then heat some more stones; and when 
they also are red-hot, make a large spoon of alder wood, and use it for 
taking the stones out of the cedar box. When you have done this 
two or three times, the fish wiU be done. Before the fish is done, 
pour more water into the box before you take out the first lot of stones. 
Then, after you take out the first lot of stones, put in the second 
lot. Then take them out again, and put hi the thii'd lot of red-hot 
stones to cook the fish with; and when the oil appears on top of the 
water, you wOl have all the grease you want." Thus spoke the Oil 
Woman to Giani, and Giant was glad to receive the instruction of 
Oil Woman. He took her gladly to be his sister. 


While he was still encamped there, a giiU appeared over Giant. 
He called him Little Gull. Then two GuUs came to him; and Giant 
asked them, "How shall I roast my olachen, friends?" The two 
Gulls taught him how to roast the olachen. They built a frame of 
elderberry wood and put it in good order. The space between the 
elderberry sticks was about three finger-widths, and they were as long 
as the fore arm. They placed the olachen on the elderberry frame. 
Then the GuUs said to Giant, "Put on your mat of spruce roots and 
your cedar-bark raincoat, and your gloves, and ■m-ap your blanket 
around your knees, and start a fii'e under the frame, and sit there and 
keep the fu-e a-going until the olachen are done on one side. Then 

'This and the following story contain the olachen taboos practiced by the Tsimshian.— Notes, 
p. 653.— F. B. 


turn them over. When you turn the frame over, say 'Lawa!' Then 
put it ill good order again, and put them on the frame with the other 
side towards the fire. Then, when one of the olachen bursts on 
account of the heat of the fire, say 'Oh, oh! some more olachen are 
coming up!' " Giant was very glad to receive the instructions of the 
two GuUs. Before the olachen was done, the two Gulls began to eat 
Giant's olachen; and they cried whUe eating, "Gunax haa, gimax haa!" 
Then many gulls came, crying ' 'Gunax Jiaa, gu nax Juia ! ' ' and ate all the 
olachen on the frame. Now Giant was sad. He took the GuUs and 
thi-ew them into the fire, and ever since that time the tips of their 
wuigs have been black. 

(Note of the Recorder. — The place where he camped at that tiipe 
was called I^ittle Crabapple-Ti'ee Place. And so we know nowadays 
how to cook olachen, for Giant taught the people how to cook olachen. 
AU these works he did in order to support the people whom ho made 
out of the elderberry tree. The first thing he did was to leave his 
father; the second was to fly over the sea to the maudand; the third, 
to scatter all kinds of fishes in the rivers and streams; the fourth, 
to scatter all kinds of berries over the dry land; fifth, he ascended to 
heaven and brought down daylight and north wind; and as the sixth 
thing, he went to the village of his father and brought the fire; 
seventh, ho went to the old woman and obtained from her the tide- 
Ime; eighth, he called the Gull to gamble with him, and in their 
quarrel he stepped on the Gull's stomach and made him vomit 
olachen; ninth, he went to the olachen village and deceived the 
chief; tenth, he met the OH Woman; eleventh, he called two Gulls 
to teach him how to roast the olachen. And this is the end of his 
works to fill the wants of the new people whom he had made.) 

(ii) txa'msem and the steelhead salmon' 

Now Giant's name was changed to TxilmsEm. He went on, and saw 
a steelhead salmon jumping in the river. Tlien he made a plan. He 
kicked the rock and made a deep hole. He said with a loud voice, 
" Ha, steelhead salmon! come up tome to the beach!" He was stand- 
ing above the hole which he had kicked into the rock. Suddenly the 
steelhead sahnon hit his heart, and TxamsEm lay there like one 
dead. After a while he opened his eyes, and saw that the salmon had 
jumped over the hole that he had made. He kicked the rock again, 
and made a second hole. Again he said, "Copie up to me, big steel- 
head salmon, and we will see who is the stronger!" He stood there, 
ready to catch the steelhead salmon. Again suddenly the steel- 
head salmon hit his heart, and he lay there like one dead. After 
a whUe he opened his eyes and saw the steelhead salmon Ijing in the 
hole near the water. TxamsEm rushed down to kill it, but could not 
reach it. He kicked the rock again, and made a third hole, and he 

1 Notes, p. 674. 

68 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. axx. 31 

stood there above those three holes. He repeated the same words 
as before, "Come up to me, big steelhead salmon! We will see who 
is the stronger." And when he said so, the steelhead sahnon hit 
him again, and he lay there like one dead. His heart was swollen. 
When his eyes opeiied again, he saw the steelhead salmon again, 
which lay right in the middle of the last hole. He went down slowly 
and caught it; and he was very glad to have the steelhead sahnon, 
for he was very hungry. 

He did not know how to prepare his food, so he sat down and eased 
himseK. Then he asked his excrements, "What shall I do, excre- 
ments?" They answered, "Steam it in a hole, steam it in a hole." 
Then he gathered firewood. Then TxamsEm gathered stones, heated 
them, and when the stones were red-hot, he put them in a hole. He 
also went and gathered leaves of the skunk-cabbage to cover it. 
Then he cut the sahnon lengthwise, and covered it with the skunk- 
cabbage leaves, and poured water on it. When the salmon was done, 
white crows gathered over him. Then TxamsEm said to the White 
Crows, "Grandcliildren, go and borrow for me some dishes, so that I 
may eat my salmon." The White Crows went and brought mussel- 
shells to TxamsEm. When he saw them, he said, "No, that is not 
what I want. I want real dishes. Go again and bring them!" 
They went, and brought clamshells. Then TxamsEm became angry, 
and said, "Go again and bring me real dishes." They went, and 
brought all kinds of shells. Now TxamsEm himself went to get real 
dishes. As soon as he had gone, all the crows came and ate Txam- 
sEm's salmon. After they had eaten it, they put over the hole a 
large hemlock tree that stood near by. When TxamsEm came back, 
he saw that the hole was empty, and all he saw was that the ground 
was covered with the crows' excrements. He looked up, and, 
behold ! multitudes of crows covered the branches of a large tree. 
Then all the crows flew away; and TxamsEm cursed them, and said, 
"As you are flj^ing there, you shall be all black." Therefore all crows 
are black. 

(12) txa'msem and lagobola" 

TxamsEm went dovni the river, and arrived at its mouth. There 
he met a man named Lagobola, and TxiimsEm talked to him. He said, 
"Brother, where have you been?" Lagobola replied, "I come from 
the south, and I heard of your fame, which has spread aU over the 
world." Thus spoke Lagobola to TxamsEin. Lagobola also said, 
"I also hear about your supernatural power." Then TxamsEm 
said, "Well, Brother Lagobola, let us go to the sea tomorrow to hunt 
sea otters!" and Lagobola agreed. They were going to Dimdas 
Island. TxamsEm killed tlii-ee seals and two sea otters; and he 
camped theie first. While he was making a fire, Lagobola came to 

1 Notes, p. 666. 


the place wljere he was encamped. TxiimsEin invited him up, and 
they were about to eat there. Then TxamsEm went to get fuel and 
to look for water. They began to eat; and after they had eaten, 
Lagobola said to his friend, "What are you going to drink, TxamsEm ? 
Ai-e 3'ou going to drink from the root of the little alder tree?"' — 
"Yes, my dear!" said TxiimsEm. After they had eaten, TxiimsEm 
took his bucket and went to the root of the little alder tree, and found 
no water there, for Lagobola had dried up all the water of the brooks. 
TxamsEm knew at once that Lagobola had caused the water to dis- 
appear. Therefore he put his one foot on Dundas Island, the other 
on the mamland at the mouth of Skeena River, filled his (basket) 
bucket, and took the water to Lagobola. Then Lagobola di'ank, 
and tasted the water of Skeena River. 

On the following morning TxamsEm and Lagobola started to hunt. 
TxamsEm said, "Go round outside Dundas Island, and I will go 
inside." Lagobola consented to tliis; and while they were going 
along, Lagobola took off his hunting-cap, and a fog arose. He put 
it upside down m his canoe, then a thick fog lay on the surface of the 
water. TxiimsEm lost his way and paddled about, but his brother 
Lagobola did not paddle. His canoe was just di'ifting about. Then 
TxiimsEm was scared. He cried, and called his friend. "My dear 
Lagobola, I know your supernatural power is stronger than mine. 
Take pity on me, my dear!" He called out to him agam, but 
Lagobola did not answer. Agam he called, and began to cry. 
He said, "O my dear brother!" Then Lagobola shouted, and said, 
"What is the matter with you?" Lagobola gathered the fog, took 
it off from the water, and put it in his cap. Then he put the cap on, 
and soon the fog cleared away. Then Lagobola asked TxiimsEm, 
"Why are you so fuU of fear ?" TxamsEm said, "I did not cry, I am 
only smgmg m my canoe." They paddled along toward the mam- 
land, and came to the mouth of Skeena River. Then they went up 
the river, each in his own canoe. "VMaen they reached the point 
where the current runs do-«ni, TxamsEm said, "Let us gamble here!" 
Lagobola agreed, although he did not care. He said to TxiimsEm, 
""^^Tiat, kmd of game shall we play?" TxiimsEm rephed, "Let us 
have a shootmg-match!" So Lagobola consented. TxiimsEm had 
said, "Wlioever hits this crack shall win the game — either I or you." 
He prepared a rock and split it, so that they might shoot at it. "Let 
us stake Skeena River against Nass River!" Then his brother 
Lagobola agreed. Lagobola had a nice box-quiver, but TxamsEm had 
just made a bow andarrow. TxiimsEm took two stones, on which they 
sat down. Thej^ talked to each other. TxiimsEm wished to sit nearer 
to the water than his brother. Lagobola said, "You shoot first, my 

1 See p. 63. 

70 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. 31 

brother!" but TxamsEm replied, "No, let us shoot at the same time!" 
Lagobola agreed, and they shot at the same time. Before they shot, 
TxamsEm squirted water from Ms mouth, and said, "Let Lagobola's 
arrow fall a httle farther over there, and let my arrow hit the goal!" 
As soon as the brothers shot, Lagobola saw distinctly that his arrow 
struck the rock, wlule TxamsEm's arrow fell a Uttle to one side; but 
TxamsEm said, "I hit it!" Lagobola said, "No, I hit it!" but 
TxamsEm repeated, "I hit it!" He was very glad while he was 
saymg this. At once Lagobola said, "You won. Brother TxamsEm. 
Now r'le olachen will come to Nass River twice every surmner;" and 
TxiimsEm said, "And the sahnon of Skeena River shall always be 
fat." Thus they divided what TxamsEm had won at Nass River. 
Then TxamsEm went down to the ocean, and Lagobola went south- 
ward to the place he had come from. 

(13) txa'msem and the crab^ 

TxamsEm went on with his raven blanket which his father had 
given him, and flew over the ocean. What was he to eat ? At sun- 
rise he arrived at a sand-spit. He saw a large Crab sitting there, 
warming himself ui the sun. It was very low tide. TxamsEm 
wanted to kill him, so he flew to the place where the Crab was sitting, 
and said, "Let us have a game, grandfather ! " Thus spoke TxamsEm, 
while he touched the back of the CVab. The Crab rephed, "Oh, no!" 
TxamsEm did so several times. When the tide turned, the Crab 
moved away. But TxamsEm desired very much to have the large 
Crab. Again he flew to him, touched him on his back, and said, ' ' Let 
us have a game, grandfather!" The Crab rephed, "Oh, no!" Again 
he flew and touched bun on his back, and said, "Let us have a game, 
grandfather!" Then the CYab was displeased with TxamsEm, who 
was sitting close to the water. TxamsEm came again and pushed 
him, and said, "Let us have a game, grandfather!" Then the large 
Crab caught him by the leg and walked slowly down uito the water. 
TxamsEm was scared, for he was m the claws of the large Crab. He 
said to the Crab, "Dear grandfather, let me go!" but the Crab would 
not Usten to his request, and walked along the bottom of tlie sea. 
Soon the Ci-ab felt that TxamsEm was dead, and let go of him. 
TxiimsEm came up to the surface of the water and floated there. 
A light wind blew and drifted Imn ashore. Then the tide turned 
again, and he lay there on the ground. The sun rose up to the middle 
of the sky and loosened the raven blanket. By and by he opened 
his eyes, because he had been warmed by the heat of the sun. He 
arosej and saw some of his feathers that had come off. Then he said 
to liimself, scratching his head, "My feathers have done well enough." 

1 Notes, p. 721. 



TxamsEm went along the sand-point, and while walking there he was 
searching for food, hut he did not find anything. Suddenly, hehold! 
there was a fish in the water. It was not niovhig. TxamsEm stood 
there and wept. He said to the Fish, " You look like my grandfather, 
who died a httle wliile ago." He wiped the tears from his eyes, and 
said, "Come ashore! I want to talk to you a while." 

The Fish came toward the shore. TxamsEm thought he would 
kill it. He was much depressed because he was hungry. Now the 
Fish was almost within his reach, but it swam back into the deep 
water. The Fish knew TxamsEm's intentions, and swam back from 
the shore, saying, " Do you think I do not know you. Giant ?" Then 
Giant acted as though he were going to take hold of the Fish, stretched 
out his hand, and said, "You shall have a thin tail, only your head 
shall be large and thick." It became the buUhcad. The bullhead 
is remarkably stout, because TxilmsEm cursed it, and made it thin 
at one end, while the other end is thick. 

(15) txa'msem frightens away the owners of a whale 2 

TxamsEm hved there for a while. Soon he made up his mind to go 
back to the mainland, for he was very hungry. He had bad luck, and 
he needed somethhig to eat. He flew back over the sea, and soon he 
came to a viUage where there were many people. Behold! a large 
whale lay there on the beach. He had on his raven blanket, and he 
flew to the place where the dead whale laj^, and said in the Raven lan- 
guage, " Gulage gag dze el han!" The people were worried to know 
what the Raven wanted to say. On the following day a number of 
gamblers were together at one place in this village. TxamsEm was 
sittmg at one end of the gamblers. The people did not know him. 
They began to talk about what the Raven had said the day before. 
Therefore the Raven asked what it was that the Raven had been 
saying. Then one of the party told hun that the day before, in the 
afternoon, a raven flpng over the dead whale had turned over above 
the whale, saying, " Gulage gag dze el han," and that he had done so 
several times. " Oh, I see, I understand what he said ! He said, ' Maybe 
a pestilence will come to this village within a few days.'" Tlien the 
people were still more troubled; and when evening came, the chief of 
the village sent out his slave, and said, " Go out and order the people 
to move tomorrow morning!" The great slave ran out and cried, 
"Great tribe, move!" They did so the foUowing mornhig. Now, 
TxamsEm lived in the chief's house. He carved the large whale, and 
carried the meat into the house. Four houses were filled with the 
meat and fat. He lived there a long time, and ate the whale meat 
and fat. 

1 Notes, p. 685. = Notes, p. 6S7. 

72 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ank. 31 

(16) txa'msem finds a beautiful blanket.' 

Now, TxamsEm took one of the chief's dancing-garments and wore 
it. He threw away his raven blanket which his father had given Mm, 
and went on, not knowing where he went. He went along, and tore his 
dancing-blanket, and was very poor; but he remembered his raven 
blanket which he had thrown away. He tm-ned back and searched 
for his raven blanket a long time. At last he found it, took it up, 
and put it on, then he was glad to have it back. He went on, and 
saw a very nice dancing-blanket like the one he had worn before. 
At once he tore his raven blanket which his father had given him, 
and took the dancing-blanket that hung before him. He went on, 
dressed hke a j'oung prince; but when he was walking, behold! it 
was no dancing-garment, but he had on only Hchens. He sat there 
weeping, turned back, and searched for Ms raven blanket, tied it 
together, and walked on, hungry and weepuig. As he went along, 
behold! there were a marten blanket and a dancing-blanket hanging 
there. So he went toward them, took off Ms raven l>lanket, and 
wore the marten blanket below, and the dancing-blanket over it. He 
went on, dressed like a young chief. Then he saw a village before 
him, and his heart rose in pride; but, behold! his garments were 
only common moss and lichens. He stood there again weeping, and 
turned back to search for his raven blanket wMch his father had 
given him. He found it, put it on, and flew toward the town. 

(17) txa'msem and his slave^ 

Before TxamsEm reached the village he transformed a piece of rot- 
ten spruce wood into a slave, whom he called Lgum. Then TxamsEin 
took a pair of clamshells and made of them ear-ornaments, wMch 
he wore as princes wear abalone ear-ornaments. Then TxamsEm 
said to his slave whom he had made out of spruce wood, " When you 
sec me walking on the beach of that town, say, 'Do you know that 
a great chief is walking along the beach of yoor vUlage, great tribe ?'" 
The slave passed several times, and repeated what his master told him. 
Sometimes he made a mistake. Then TxamsEin scolded him for 
his mistakes until he remembered what TxamsEm taught him to say. 
They went on, and soon came to the end of the village. TxamsEin 
walked along the beach in front of the town. Then his slave shouted, 
and said, " Do you Icnow that a great chief is walking in front of your 
town, great tribe? He is wearmg M:^ abalone ear-ornaments." 
Then the whole tribe went to see the gi-eat cMef who had come into 
their town. The head chief of the town invited TxamsEm into his 
house, and set before him rich food of all kinds. While TxamsEm 
was eatmg, he saw that the chief's house was full of dried codfish. 

' Notes, p. 722. 2 Notes, p. 689. 


After the evening meal, he called to liis slave to go with him to 
refresh themselves for a while. They did so; and when they were 
behind the house, he opened his mind to the slave. He said, "I 
saw a house full of dried codfish, so I wiU pretend to die. When you 
go in, I will lie down, and some of the codfish oil will drop into my 
eye. Then I shall pretend to die of this cause ; and when you tcU the 
people that I am about to die, you shall order the people to move 
and to leave everything behind. Then, when you put me into the 
grave-box, don't tie it too tightly." Thus spoke TxamsEm to his 
slave. Tliey went in again in the evening. Now, TxamsEm lay 
dowm, looked up, and soon some codfish oil dripped into one of his 
eyes. He pretended to be very sick, because he wanted to have all 
the codfish in the town. The same night, after a short time, he pre- 
tended to die. Then all the people wailed for him. The slave ran 
out and cried, "Move, great tribe, because the great chief died of 
the codfish oil!" The people did so. In the morning they moved, 
and left all the dried codfish and everythuig behind. The slave put 
liim into a box, and tied it up with cedar-bark rope. When all the 
people had left,TxamsEm asked from out of the box, "Have they all 
left?" The slave said, " No." The slave left the box, went to every 
house, and ate the best codfish he could find. Tlien TxamsEm became 
verj' desirous of eating it. The slave had tied up the box, and 
TxamsEm was anxious to get out, but ho was unable to open the box. 
So the slave ate all the codfish he wanted. Then, when the slave 
had enough, he went to the box, undid the rope with which he had 
tied the box, and TxamsEm came out with sad countenance, and ate 
the codfish that his slave had left. Tliey staid there a little longer, 
until they had devoured all the codfish in the whole village. 

(18) txa'msem kills his slave 1 

They went on and on, until they arrived at a large village. Then 
TxamsEm ordered his slave to say the same as he had at the last 
village, where TxamsEni had pretended to die. TxamsEm walked 
along the beach m front of the towTi. Then his slave shouted, and 
said, "Do you Imow that a great chief is walkmg along the beach m 
front of your town, great tribe ? He wears a costly pair of abalone ear- 
ornaments." Then the whole tribe sallied forth from theu- houses 
to see the stranger. One of the head chiefs invited him in, and he 
entered with his slave and sat down. The chief gave them to eat. 
Fu-st they ate dried salmon, and then the waiters served them crab- 
apples mixed with grease. Then the chief of the house said, "Lgum, 
ask your master if he wishes to have crabapples from Galax." 
Wlien TxamsEm saw these excellent crabapples, he was ver}' desu-ous 
of eating them. Therefore he said to his slave m a low voice, "Tell 

■Notes, p. 691. 

74 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [etii. axn. 31 

them that I should hke to eat what they have there now." The 
slave said, "O chief! my master says he does not eat what you have 
there now, because he is afraid he might die." The chief of the house 
said, "Oh, I see! Then we will eat it with you, LgUm." Then 
TxamsEm sat there, looking at his slave angrily. The slave ate all 
with the chief of the house, but TxamsEm had only very little to eat. 
After they finished eating, they went out. TxamsEm was still angry 
with his slave. TxamsEm went fh-st, followed by his slave Gahaya(?). 
Soon they came to a deep canyon. TxamsEm had placed the dried 
stem of a skunk-cabbage across, forming a bridge. He himself went 
across first; and when he reached the other side, he called Lgum to 
come across, but the slave was afraid to follow him. After a while, 
however, he followed him; and when Lgum reached the middle of the 
bridge, it broke. Then Lgum fell mto the deep canyon, and his 
belly burst. When TxamsEm saw what had happened, and saw 
the food of which he had not been able to partake,, he flew down to 
the bottom of the canyon and ate the contents of the slave's stomach. 
TxiimsEm simply took the food with both his hands and ate it all. 
After he had eaten, he flew up from the bottom of the canyon. 


Again TxamsEm was very hungry. He went on, not knowing which 
way to turn. Behold! he came out of the woods near a large town. 
There were people out in front of the town, fishing for halibut. 
TxamsEm thought they might have much bait on their hooks and that 
he would eat it. He dived and saw the bait. He took it off from the 
hooks and ate it. Then TxamsEm went from one hook to another, 
eating all the bait. Thus the bait of all the fishermen had disappeared, 
and they did not know how it had happened. Fmally one of the fisher- 
men caught TxamsEm's j aw. His j aw was caught on one of the hooks. 
Then the fisherman pulled up his line, and TxamsEm was pulled up. 
He offered resistance, but could not take the hook out of his mouth, 
and he held on to the rocks at the bottom of the sea. Then the fisher- 
men assembled, and hauled together at the fishing-line. TxamsEm 
had said to the rocks to which he held at the bottom of the sea, 
"Help me, rocks of the bottom!" and finally he said to his jaw, 
"Break off, jaw! I am getting tired now." Then his jaw broke off, 
and the fisherman hauled up the line easily. Behold! the fishermen 
saw come up on the hook the great jaw with a long beard. Some 
of them laughed, but others were scared. They all went ashore at 
once, and all the people assembled in the chief's house. They looked 
at the great jaw, and were surprised to see a man's jaw with a long 
beard caught on a halibut hook. On the following day the gam- 
blers assembled at one place on the beach of the town. There they 

' Notes, p. 684. 


looked at the great jaw. It was a man's jaw. Now TxamsEm went 
ashore and came out of the water. He was in great pain because his 
jaw had been broken off. Then he said to hunself, " I am always doing 
something to myself." Soon he arrived in the town, and saw the 
gamblers sitting on the l)each. So he went toward them; and while 
the people were looking at the man's great jaw, TxamsEm came and 
sat down at the end of the line of people that were sitting there. He 
saw the people lookhig at the great jaw. The people handed it 
around and looked at it. After a little while TxamsEm held his 
blanket over his mouth to cover his lost jaw; and when he saw his 
great jaw, he stretched out his hand and said, "Give it to me! Let 
me look at it ! " He took it and looked at it, examining it and turning 
it over and over. He said, "Oh, that is wonderful!" He made the 
people forget it, put it on, and ran away, and then the people recog- 
nized him. They said, "That is TxiinisEm, the cheater." TxamsEm 
ran away as fast as he could. Then his jaw was well again. 

(20) txa'msem and the hunter ' 

TxamsEm went on; and as soon as he came to the beach, he saw a 
hunthig-canoe commg around the point, and four men in the canoe. 
He thought that the hunters would have with them many animals 
that they had caught, and he said to himself, "I will pretend to be a 
woman." Wlien the hunters' canoe approached, he assumed the 
shape of a woman. Wlien the chief of the hunters saw the young 
woman walking along the shore, he said, "Let us take her on board 
our canoe!" They agreed, went ashore, and took her aboard. The 
chief wanted to marry her. The young woman carried a chUd 
along. The hunters camped in the evening, and the child was crying. 
Its mother said, "The child wants to have a gisox? That is why it 
cries." Then the young man cooked seal and gave it to the woman 
to let the child eat of it. Wlien the men were all asleep, TxiimsEm 
arose and ate all the animals that the hunters had. Early on the 
following morning the chief of the hunters arose, and saw that his 
new wife looked like a man; therefore he shouted to wake up his 
companions. TxiimsEm arose first; and the chief of the hunters 
said, "That is you, TxamsEm, cheater!" TxamsEm ran away, and 
his child flew awaj^ uito the woods as a crow. 

(21) txa'msem and the children^ 

TxamsEm came to another village, and saw many little children 
playing at the end of the town. They were throwmg pieces of w^iale 
blubber at one another. TxamsEm went toward them, stepped in 

' Notes, p. 692. sThemeaningof this word is unknown tome.— F. B. 3 Notes, p. 6S6. 

76 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

among the children, and ate the bkibbcr with which they were playing. 
He ate all the blubber which the children were throwing at one another. 
Then the children stood there quietly, wondermg what had become of 
it. TxamsEm questioned them. "Chilch'en, where did you get this 
blubber?" One of the largest boys told hun where they got it. 
He said, "We climb up a tree and throw ourselves down. When we 
strike the ground, we say, 'High piles of our blubber,' and at once 
there are high piles of blubber." Therefore TxamsEm also clhnbed 
up a tree which the chOdi-en had pomted out to him. It was a very 
tall one. When he reached the top of the tall tree, he threw himself 
down; and before he touched the ground, he shouted as the children 
had told hun, "High!" TxamsEm struck the ground. Then the 
chUdren went up to hun, looked, and saw that he was dead. The 
children laughed at him, and left him there. After a little while 
TxamsEm opened his eyes. He looked about, but he did not find 
anythmg to eat; but he had pains all over his body. He lay there 
on the ground, very sick from his fall from the top of the tall tree. 


Wlien TxilmsEm recovered from his sickness, he went on, very hun- 
gry and distressed. He went down to the beach and buUt a small 
house, made a canoe and a spear. One day he went out to try to spear 
something to eat. It was a cahn day. TxamsEm took up his spear, 
when a fog arose. It lay on the surface of the water. After a wliile 
the fog cleared away, and TxamsEm beheld a bright and fair woman 
sitting in the bow of his canoe. TxamsEm smiled at her, and she 
also smiled at him. TxamsEm said to the bright and fair woman, 
" I wish to marry you. " Thus spoke TxiimsEm to her. The woman 
said at once, "Just take care. Giant! I am the Salmon. Do not do 
me any harm. " Thus said Bright-Cloud Woman to him. TxamsEm 
repUed to her, who was now his wife, "Come, mistress, let us go home 
to our house!" They went ashore, and came to the beach in front of 
TxamsEm's house. As soon as they had gone in, TxamsEm begged 
Bright-Cloud Woman to cause the salmon to appear in the brook 
that was at the right side of TxamsEm's little house. Bright-Cloud 
Woman declined. Early the following morning Bright-Cloud 
Woman arose quietly, went down to the creek, and put her toes into 
the water. At once a great many spring salmon jumped m the 
water. Then she woke her husband, and said, "See how the salmon 
are jumping at the mouth of the creek!" He arose and saw the 
spring salmon near the mouth of the creek, TxamsEm was glad. 
Then Bright-Cloud Woman called her husband to comb his hair. 
TxiimsEm's hair was very ugly. His wife combed it way down his 
back, and she changed TxamsEm's hair into blond hair. She also 

■ Notes, p. 668. 


made his rough skin soft and white. TxiimsEm loved his wife very 
much. Soon tlie sprmg saknon were coming up the river. TxamsEm 
went down and chibbed them, and Bright-Cloud Woman went and 
got them, and TxamsEm got poles and hung the salmon on them to 
dry. Early the following morning Bright-Cloud Woman went down 
to the creek again. She went into the water, and let the water come 
up to her knees. At once there were salmon jumping. She came 
out of the water, went to her husband, and awakened him. She 
said, "The creek is fuU of silver salmon. " TxamsEm arose, went 
down, and saw the silver sahnou. The river was almost dried up, 
so full was it of salmon. 

On the following day TxamsEm went to his canoe to get wood to 
smoke his wife's salmon. He took along some salmon wliich he was 
going to eat while he was gettmg wood. "V\Tien he came to a place 
where he was going to get wood, ravens were flying over him, because 
they noticed the salmon m TxamsEm's canoe, and TxiimsEm had 
nothuig to cover liis salmon Avith. Many ravens assembled, and 
TxamsEm did not want to leave his salmon in the canoe, and he also 
wanted very much to get wood to smoke all his wife's salmon. So 
fuially he took out one of his eyes to watch the sahnon in the canoe; 
and he commanded his eye, "If any ravens should come to the canoe, 
call me, and I will come and drive them away. I don't want them 
to eat my salmon. I am going to cut wood a little farther out there. 
If they come to the canoe, then call me; and when I call you from 
out there, you shall answer so that I know that you are still in my 
canoe." Then he went. 

As soon as he had gone, the ravens came into the canoe; and liis 
eye shouted, "My eye, my eye! these ravens are about to devour 
me!" TxiimsEm replied, "Hide under the stern-board!" His eye 
repUed, "I have done so, yet the ravens are about to devour me." 
TxamsEm went back quickly, and called to his eye wliile he was going 
back, "My eye, my eye! hide under the stern-board! Oh, my eye!" 
Soon he came down to the canoe, but both his eye and his salmon 
were gone. He had lost everythmg. He stood there on the shore, 
and he had not a chip of wood ; so he went aboard his canoe and went 
home, very sad. Soon he reached his camp. His beautiful wife 
came down to meet him on the beach. She asked him, "\^Tiy do 
you look so sad, my dear?" TxamsEm said to her, "A raven took 
away my salmon and also my eye, and so I did not get any wood. " 
Then his wife said, "I will make a new eye for you, better than the 
old one. " TxamsEm went up to his house with his sore eye. His 
wife went up to the place where he lay, and said, "I will wash your 
eye-socket." She took water, washed his eye, and made a new one 
for liim, so that it was better than before. TxamsEm was very glad. 

78 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

for he had a new eye, and he loved his wife very much. The woman 
loved him really until then- salmon was all dried. 

Then TxamsEm went into the river and clubbed all the salmon. 
He built two large houses, and filled them with good dried salmon. 
Now TxamsEm's food became plentiful, for his wife was drying sal- 
mon, and she was roasting some of them. Their three houses were 
fuU, and there was no place where TxamsEm did not put away the 
dried saknon. Bright-Cloud Woman did thus so many times 
throughout the year, that there was no room for any more dried 
sahnon. All the storehouses of TxamsEm were fuU of bundles of 
good dried sahnon. Therefore they ceased to make more dried 
salmon. On the following day he went and took a walk on the sandy 
beach next to the house. Bright-Cloud Woman staid at home. 
In the afternoon TxamsEm came home, and his wife stepped up to 
him and asked him whether he wanted his supper. When TxiimsEm 
said "Yes," Bright-Cloud Woman gave him to eat. The following 
morning he went out very early, and came back in the evening. His 
kind wife was ready to give him supper. For four days they acted 
tliis way. Then TxamsEm became proud because he had so much 
food. He spoke angrily to his wife when he came home late in the 
evening. Finally he asked his wife, "Did any one visit you wliile I 
was away?" Thus spoke TxamsEm to his fair wife. Then his good 
wife spoke with kindly words. "O master, what do you think! 
Who should visit me in this lonely place?" But TxiimsEm was 
angry. Bright-Cloud Woman said to her husband, "Have pity 
on me, my dear ! No stranger has done any mischief to me. I love 
you most. " Thus said Bright-Cloud Woman to her husband. Then 
TxiimsEm said, "I have been gambling every day, and at one time 
I was always gaming; but now I am losmg everything I liave. So 
I know that some man is visiting you." Thus spoke TxamsEm to 
his wife. The good woman wept. TxamsEm arose, went out, 
and his wife followed him secretly. TxamsEm had gone to the first 
point where he sat down and was gambling with a stump. Bright- 
Cloud Woman came secretly to where he was, and saw her husband 
gambhng with the large stump. She went away secretly. In the 
evening TxamsEm came home to his kind wife in a rage. 

One day TxamsEm dressed up. He was gomg to take a walk. 
His wife combed his hair as she used to do every morning. He 
arose, and tried to go out ; but the backbone of the sprmg salmon 
caught in his hair, and he scolded it. He took it and threw it into 
the corner of the house, saying, "You come from the naked body of 
a woman, and you catch my hair!" Bright-Cloud Woman just hung 
her head and cried, but TxiimsEm laughed at his wiie and went out. 
Just before evening TxamsEm came in, and agam the backbone of 
the spring salmon caught in his long blond hair. TxamsEm was very 


angry, and tlirew it into the corner of the house. He said agam, 
" You come from the naked body of a woman, and you catch my long 
blond hauM" Bright-Cloud Woman arose at once. She said to the 
dried Salmon, ''Come, my tribe, let us go back!" Thus she said to 
them. She stood up and whistled. Then all the di-ied Salmon flew 
out of the house; and while the dried Salmon were flying away, 
TxamsEm's blond hair became scorched and turned back to its own 
natural color, and his owii rough skin came back again. And while 
his blond hair was being scorched, he tried to take hold of its end, 
and said, "You should not do that, hau-;" and he was uglier than 
before. Then Bright-Cloud Woman started, and led her tril)e, the 
dried Salmon, and they all went into the water. TxamsEm tried to 
put his arms around his wife, but her body was like smoke, and his 
arms went through her, for she was a cloud. TxiimsEm came to be 
very poor, and had nothing to eat and was very hungry. He was 
there all alone, no one to comfort him. He had lost all his provisions, 
and his beautiful wife had gone. His blond haii- was scorched, and 
his soft white skm had become rough agam. He sat down in the 
house, weeping and sorrowful on account of the tliuigs he had lost. 


TxamsEm continued to live alone in his little hut. It had been 
bad weather all the time smce his wife had left him, for the south 
♦wind was blowing hard, and he could not get anythmg to eat. All 
the people were also unable to get then- food, and they were starving. 
They were also unable to get any fish; for the halibut, red cod, 
black cod, and others would not bite, and the fishermen could not 
get any bait on account of the bad weather. They all were very 
much distressed. TxiimsEm's eyes were sore on account of the 
smoke which the south wind blew down through the smoke hole, and 
which filled his little hut. Then TxamsEm called all the Fish. When 
they were in his house, he said, ' ' O my father's tribe ! let us consider 
if we can not get something to eat, the weather always being so bad ! 
We shall soon die of starvation if we always stay at home on account of 
the bad weather." Then the Devilfish arose, and said at once, "O 
chief! I will speak what is in my mind. Let us go and make war 
against the Master Of The South Wind, that we may not all die of 
starvation!" Then the Halibut also arose, and said, "I am much 
pleased with what my friend said. Let us go and make war agamst 
him, lest we and our children die!" The Fish agreed to go and 
make war against the Master Of The South Wind.' ' Then the Devilfish 
also said, ' ' Let us borrow the canoe of our brother Killer Whale, for he 
has a strong canoe, which can be used in a gale!" The Fish consented, 

' The form of the following story is influenced by the Kwakiutl tale printed in Boas and Hunt, Kwakiut 
Texts (.Publications of the Jesup North Pacific EiDedition. vol. in, p. 350).— Notes, p. 658. — F. B. 

80 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. 31 

and he sent the Red Cod to borrow the canoe of the Killer Whale. 
The chief of the Killer Wliales gave it tt) them, and they took it home. 
Then the Halibut arose, and stood up before TxamsEm, and said, 
"I come to tell you the wishes of our people, what they want you to 
do, dear TxamsEm! They say that you shall devise a way how we 
canmake war against the Master Of The South Wind." So TxamsEm 
said to him, "Go and ask my brothers to get ready; we will go tomor- 
row;" and the Halibut went to report to the people what TxamsEm 
had said. Then TxamsEm begged his companions. Devilfish and 
Halibut, to sit in the stern of the canoe. When they were all aboard 
the large Killer- Wliale canoe, one of the shellfish was also among the 
number. It was Cockle. Cockle decided to kick the Master Of The 
South Wind down the beach when they arrived there. Early in the 
mornmg they laimched then* cant)e, and all the people went aboard. 
The Devilfish and the Halibut were sitting in the stern, and the 
Cockle and Red Cod in the bow, to watch any danger that might 
come to them on their way. Then Killer Whale went against the 
South Wind, going southward toward the town of the Master Of The 
South Wmd. They were going a long time, and the Cockle always 
said, "I will kick the Master Of The South Wind down to the beach 
when we get there." TxamsEm heard what Coclde said; and when 
they saw the village, TxamsEm advised his three companions. Devil- 
fish, Halibut, and Cockle: "You shall go ashore Ih-st, and we others 
will stay in the canoe with the whole crew. Your companion Halibut* 
shall lie down at the door of the house of the Master Of The South 
Wind. Devilfish shall hide on one side of the door, so that he may 
suck out the Master Of The South Wmd, who shall then slip on the 
Halibut when the Cockle kicks him down the beach m front of his 
house." Thus spoke TxamsEm. Then he stopped speaking, for he 
had arrived at the beach in front of the house of the Master Of The 
South Wind. Halibut went ashore first, and lay down at the door 
of the house of the Master Of The South Wind. Devilfish remained 
sitting in the canoe. Then Cockle jumped out of the canoe and went 
to the door of the house. There he opened his shell when ho entered 
the house. He saw the Master Of The South Wind lying with his 
back toward the door of the house; and he was always brealdng 
wind, therefore the south wind was blowing hard all the time. The 
Cockle tried to go toward the Master Of The South Wind. He opened 
his shell and tried to kick the Master Of The South Wind, but in vam. 
He tried in every way, but could not do it. Finally TxamsEm called 
him down, so the Cockle went down to the canoe. TxamsEm took 
him up and broke him. He said to him, while he was breakmg him, 
"I will break this braggart," and he ate bun. Then Red Cod jumped 
into the house. He took his fu-e-drill and driUed. Soon he obtained 
fire. He took red-cedar bark from under his blanket and put it on 



the burning fire. Thus he made a tliick smoke in the house v{ the 
Master Of The Sou th Wmd. The Master Of The South Wind began to 
cough and to sneeze. Then Eed Cod jumped out again. Now the 
chief, the Master Of The South Wind, coughed and sneezed very hard. 
He arose, and kept going backward, on and on. He stumbled because 
lie was coughing so iiard. He came to the door of his house; and 
when he stepped on the Halibut, he slipped on him, and slid right 
down to the Killer-Whale canoe. Then Devilfish sucked, and kept 
him from going back. TxamsEm said to his people, "Kill him with 
stones, kill him right away!" Thus spoke TxamsEm to his com- 
panions. Then he spoke again, and said, "Go on, warriors, club and 
kill him!" Then the chief, the Master Of The South Wind, spoke at 
once, and said, ' ' O Chief TxiimsEm ! wliy do you intend to do this to 
me ? " TxamsEm said at once, ' ' O chief. Master Of The South Wind ! 
I do this because we always have bad weather." Then the Master 
Of The South Wind spoke again, and said, "There shall be alternately 
one fine day and one bad day." TxamsEm said at once, "Kill him! 
for what is the use of one day fine and another bad weather ? Wliat 
does that help us ? " Then the chief, the Master Of The South Wmd, 
spoke again, and said, "There shall be two good days in succession." 
TxamsEm said, "I don't want that, either. Go on, kill him!" Thus 
spoke TxamsEm to his warriors. Then the chief, the Master Of The 
South Wind, said, "It shall always be summer in your world." 
TxamsEm said, "That is too much. It is enough to have four days 
fine weather at a time." Thus said TxamsEm to the chief, the Master 
Of The South Wind. Then TxamsEm said again, "0 chief. Master 
Of The South Wind! don't lie, else we shall come again and make war 
on you." Now, Devilfish let go of him. He went up to the beach, 
and entered his house. TxamsEm called Halibut and Devilfish and 
Red Cod. They all went aboard the canoe and returned home. 
When they arrived on the beach of TxamsEm's house, TxamsEm 
said at once, "Go to your places, for I have been to make war agamst 
the Master Of The South Wind, and he promised that it would be good 
weather for four days at a time." Thus spoke TxamsEm to them 
before they left him. Each went to his own house. Soon some 
went to dig clams, others went to get bait ; and others went to 
search for their own kind of food. Still others went fishing; and 
therefore nowadays we have good weather in our world. 


TxamsEm went on, not knowing which way to turn. He was very 
hungry, staying in a lonely place. After a while he came to the end of 
a large town. He saw many people walking about, and he was afraid 
to let himself be seen. TxamsEm sat dowm there; and on the foUow- 

1 Notes, p. 722. 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 6 

82 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

ing day, while hie was still sitting there, he saw a large canoe being 
launched on the beach. Aboard were many young women who went 
to pick blueberries. Then TxamsEm thought how he could enter 
the great town. Finally it occurred to him to catch a deer. He went 
into the woods and caught a deer, skinned it, put on the skin, and 
then swam in front of the large canoe which was full of yoimg women 
who were going to pick blueberries. Among them was a yoimg 
princess, the daughter of the master of that large town. TxanrsEm 
saw that she was among the yoimg women. She was sitting near 
the middle of the large canoe, between two women. Now, they saw 
the stag swimming along in front of the canoe. Then the princess 
said to her companions, "Let us pursue him!" They did so They 
paddled along, and soon they caught and killed the stag, and took 
him into the canoe. TxamsEm thought, "Let them put me down 
in front of the princess!" and then they took him into the canoe and 
placed him in front of the princess, as TxamsEm had wished them 
to do. Then they paddled along toward the place where the blue- 
berries were. Before they reached the blueberry-patch, the deer 
moved his hind leg and kicked the piincess in the stomach. Then 
he leaped out of the canoe and ran into the woods. The princess 
fainted when she received the wound, and therefore the yoimg women 
turned back and went home. The piincess became worse as they 
went along. Finally they reached the beach in front of the house 
of the head chief. They told the people what had happened to them 
on their journey. Then they took the princess up to her father's 
house. A great number of people were following them. The chief 
was very sorrowful because his only daughter was hurt. He called 
together all the wase men, and asked them what he should do to cure 
his daughter. The wise men told him to gather all the shamans, 
and let them try to cure her wound. There was a wound imder 
her ribs made by the hind leg of the deer. Then the chief ordered 
his attendants to call all the shamans. The attendants went and 
called all the shamans. They gathered in the chief's great house. 
Then the shamans worked over her \\'ith their supernatural powers, 
but thoy all failed. The wound could not be cured by the super- 
natural powers of the shamans. The girl became worse and worse, 
until she was very iU. Still the shamans worked on, day and night. 
Three days had passed, and the many shamans had been working 
in vain. On the fourth day, behold! before the evening set in a 
canoe filled with yoimg men came to town. They came ashore, and 
some people went down to meet them. Then the people who were 
going do^vn saw a shaman sitting in the middle of the canoe. They 
went up quickly and told the chief that a shaman had come to to^^^l. 
Therefore the chief sent to him, asking him to cure his only daughter. 
(This shaman was TxamsEm, and the crew of his canoe were his 


grandchildren the Crows.) In the evenuig, when he came in, he saw 
the princess lying there very ill, for he had hurt her a few days before ; 
and all the shamans who had failed before were sitting along the wall 
on one side of the house. TxamsEm pretended to be a shaman. 
He sat dowTi near the head of the princess, who was lying dowoi; and 
aU the yoimg men followed him, carrying a large box which contained 
his magic powers. He took charcoal and iiibbed it on his face, and 
rubbed ashes over it. He put on the ci'own of bears' claws, placed 
a ring of red-cedar bark around his neck, and put on his shaman's 
dancing-apron, and took up his large shaman's rattle. He started 
with beating of the dnim; and after the drumming and beating, he 
began his song ; and when they were singing, they pronounced these 
words : 

"Let the mighty hail fall on the roof of this chief's house, 

On the roof of this chief's house, 

On the roof of this chief's house! " 

and as the singers pronotmced these words, hail beat on the I'oof of 
the chief's house terribly. (Before TxamsEm arrived in the town, 
he had ordered some of his grandchildren the Crows to take each a 
small white stone in his mouth, and said, "WTien we pronoimco the 
words of our song, then drop the stones on the roof of the chief's 
house." Thus had TxamsEm spoken to his grandchildren the 
Crows, and they had done so.) When the mighty hail ceased, 
TxamsEm said, "Bring me a mat of cedar bark." They brought him 
the mat, and he spread it over the princess to cover her. He himself 
also went imder it with the girl, touched the wound, said, "Be cured, 
woimd imder the right ribs!" and so it happened. Then the chief 
was very glad because his daughter had been cured of hei" illness. 
He gave TxamsEm aU kinds of food. Now, the chief spoke to the 
shaman after he had fed him, and said, "Ask me whatever you wish, 
and I wiU give it to you." Then he made a promise imto him: 
"TVTiatever you may ask me, I \\t11 give it to you, my dear, good, and 
tiTie supernatural man, — you, who are possessed of supenaatural 
powers, — for you have succeeded in restoiing my only daughter." 
Then TxamsEm looked aroimd and smiled. He said, "What I want 
is that you should move, and leave for me all the provisions you have ; 
for my yotmg men have nothing, because we have no time to obtain 
our own provisions, for we are going aroimd all the time healing 
those who need us." Then the chief ordered his slaves to go out, 
and ordered the people to move on the next day. Then the slaves 
ran out, crying, "Leave, great tribe, and leave your provisions 
behind!" The people did so. They left ui the morning, and left 
all their food, according to the order of their master. TxamsEm was 
very glad, because now he had much food. On the following day 
he took a walk; and while he was absent, his grandchildren assembled. 

84 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

opened many boxes of crabapples mixed with grease, and ate them 
all. WTien TxamsEm came home from his walk, behold ! he saw all 
the empty boxes, and he knew that his grandchildren had done this. 

(25) TXa'mSEM pretends TO BUILD A CANOE ' 

TxamsEm did stiU another thing. After he had visited every 
country, he found a httle hut in which were two women — a widow 
and her daughter; and the widow was very kind to him, and fed him 
with many kinds of food. After TxamsEm had eaten, he said to the 
widow, "I wiU marry your daughter, " and the widow agreed. Then 
TxamsEm was glad that the widow's daughter was to marry him, 
for the widow's house was fuU of all kinds of food. The young 
woman who was the wife of TxamsEni was very beautiful. After 
a while TxamsEm said to his young wife, "Now, my dear, you know 
that I love you very much, and therefore I shall build a nice little 
canoe for your mother. I shall go away tomorrow to look for red 
cedar. Then I will build a canoe for her. I want you to get ready, 
for I want to start early in the morning. " Then the young woman 
repeated this to her mother. Early the next morning the mother- 
in-law arose and prepared breakfast for her son-in-law. When it was 
ready she called her son-in-law. TxamsEm arose and ate his break- 
fast. Then he went off to search for red cedar. He came back before 
it was evening, went to his wife, and told her that he had found a very 
good red cedar of proper size. He said, " I will cut it down tomorrow. 
Then I will cut it the right length for a canoe. " His mother-in-law 
prepared supper for him, and she cooked all the food she had. After 
he had eaten his meal, he laj^ down; and wliile he was Ijang there, he 
whispered to his wife, "When the canoe is finished, I wiU go around 
the island. You shall sit in the stern, your mother shall sit in the 
middle of the canoe, and I will sit in the bow. Then we shall have a 
happy time." Thus spoke TxamsEm to his wife. Next morning 
he arose, while his mother-in-law prepared his breakfast. After he 
ha<l taken his meal, he took his mother-in-law's stone tools and went; 
and his mother-in-law and his wife heard him cut the tree with his 
stone ax. They also heard the large cedar tree fall, and after a while 
they heard also how he was working with the stone ax. He came 
home before it was evening, weary and sore on account of the hard 
work that he had been doing all day long. WTien he came home, he 
said to his wife, "Just tell your mother that I want her to boil for me 
a good dried salmon every evening, for I like the soup of dried salmon. 
It is very good for a man who is building a canoe. " She did so every 
evening. When the fourth day came, TxiimsEm told his wife that the 
canoe was almost finished. By this time his mother-in-law's pro- 
visions were nearly spent, and some of her food boxes were empty. 

1 Notes, p. 720. 


A few days later TxamsEm started again, and on the following 
morning he went to take along some food for his dinner. Now, the 
widow said to her daughter, "Go, my dear daughter, and see how 
long it may take until your husband has fuiished the canoe that he 
is building, but go secretly." Then her daughter went to the place 
where her husband was working. Unseen she arrived at the place where 
he was, and saw him standing at the end of an old rotten cedar tree 
beating it with a stone ax to make a noise hke a man who is working 
mth an ax. His wife saw that there was a large hole in the rotten 
cedar tree, and therefore it made so much noise when TxamsEm 
was striking it. His wife left. When she came to her mother, she 
told her aU about her husband. Therefore they took the canoe and 
moved to their tribe. They took away all the provisions that were 
left. TxamsEm went back before it was everung. Before he 
reached his mother-m-law's hut he was glad and whistled, because 
he thought his mother-in-law had prepared his supper for him. But 
when he went in, he saw that everything was gone. Nothing remained 
except empty boxes and a little fire. Then he was hungry again. 

(26) txa'msem visits CHIEF echo' 

TxamsEm remaiaed sitting there, thinking quietly how many hard 
tliinss he had done among; men, stiU his needs were not satisfied. 
At last he made up his mind to try to go again to the people in order 
to get something to eat, for he was a great eater. ^He went to a 
lonely place, and was very anxious to find some people in the woods. 
Soon he came to a great plam. No trees were to be seen, just grass 
and flowers. At a distance he beheld a large house, and inside the 
large house with carved front he heard many people singing. He 
saw sparks fljong up from the smoke hole, and he knew that it must be 
the house of a great chief. When he came near the house, he heard 
somethmg saj-ing with a loud voice, "A stranger is coming, a chief 
is coming!" and he knew that they meant him. So he went in, but 
he saw nobody. Still he heard the voices. He saw a great fire in 
the center, and a good new mat was spread out for him alongside the 
fire. Then he heard a voice wliich called to him, "Sit down on the 
mat! This way, great chief! This way, great chief! This way!" 
He walked proudly toward the mat. Then TxamsEm sat down on 
it. This was the house of Chief Echo. Then TxiimsEm heard the 
chief speak to his slaves and tell them to roast a dried salmon; and 
he saw a carved box open itself and dried salmon come out of it. 
Then he saw a nice dish walk toward the fire all by itself. TxamsEm 
was scared and astonished to see these things. Wlien the dried sal- 
mon was roasted and cut into pieces of the right length, the pieces 
went into the dish all by themselves. The dish laid itself down in 

1 Notes, p. 702. 


front of TxamsEm, and he thought while he was eating, what strange 
thmgs ho was seeing now. When he had fuiished, a horn dipper came 
forward filled %vith water. He took it by its handle and drank. Then 
he saw a large dish fuU of crabapples mixed with grease, and a black 
horn spoon, come forward by themselves. TxamsEm took the 
handle and ate all he could. Before he emptied his dish, he looked 
around, and, behold! mountain-goat fat was hanging on one side of 
the house. He thought, "I will take down one of these large pieces 
of fat." Thus TxamsEm thought while he was eating. Then he 
heard many women laughing in one corner of the house, "Ha, ha! 
TxamsEm thinks he wiU take down one of those large pieces of 
mountain-goat fat!" Then TxamsEm was ashamed on account of 
what the women were saymg. He ate all the crabapples, and another 
dish came forward fiUed with cranberries mixed with grease and with 
water. TxiimsEm ate agam, and, behold! he saw dried mountain- 
sheep fat hanging in one corner of the large house. He thought again, 
"I will take down one of these pieces of mountain-sheep fat, and I 
will run out with it." Agam he heard many women laughing, 
"Ha, ha! TxamsEm is thinking he will take down a piece of the 
mountain-sheep fat and will run out with it. " TxamsEm was much 
troubled on account of what he heard the women saying, and when 
he heard them laughmg in the corner of the house. He arose, ran out, 
and snatched one of the pieces of 'mountain-goat meat and of moun- 
tain-sheep fat; but when he came to the door, a large stone hammer 
beat him on tlfe ankle, and he fell to the ground badly hurt. He 
lost the meat and fat, and some one dragged him along and cast him 
out. He lay there a while and began to cry, for he was very hungry, 
and his foot very sore. On the following day, when he was a little 
better, he took a stick and tried to walk away. 

(27) TXa'MSEM kills LITTLE PITCH' 

TxamsEm went on, not knowing which way to go. He was very weak 
and huoagry, and sore of foot. He went on and on in the woods until 
he saw a house far off. He went toward it, came near, and entered. 
There were a man and his wife, a very pretty yomig woman, there. 
They permitted him to come in, for they had pity on the poor man 
who had come to their house. They asked him if he wanted some- 
thing to eat, and they gave him to eat. Then the young woman tried 
to cure his ankle, which was hurt by the stone in the house of Chief 
Echo. He was now in the house of Little Pitch. lie came in, and 
the people were very kind to him. The wife of Little Pitch put 
pitch on his sore ankle. After two days he was quite well, and he 
was very glad. The young woman gave him to eat every day. The 

I Notes, p. 683. 


house of Little Pitch was ivd\ of dried hahbut and of all kinds of pro- 
visions. TxamsEm made up his mind to kill his friend who had 
treated him so kindly. 

On the following evening, after he had eaten his supper, he said 
to his friend that they would go out the next morning to catch 
hahbut. Little Pitch was'wilhng, and said to TxamsEm, "It is not 
good for me if I go out fishing in the sun, because I am so weak. I 
must return home while it is still chilly." TxamsEm rephed, "I will 
do whatever you say, sir. I think we shall have plenty of time." 
Thus spoke TxamsEm. They started for the fishing-groimd, and 
fished all night until daybreak. When the sun rose, Little Pitch 
wanted to go home; but TxamsEm said, "I enjoy fishing. Lie down 
there in the bow of the canoe, and cover yourself with a mat." Little 
Pitch lay down, and TxamsEm called him, "Little Pitch!" — "Hey!" 
he rephed. After a while TxamsEm called him again, "Little 
Pitch!" — "Hey!" he answered again with a loud voice. TxamsEm 
called him once more, "Little Pitch!" Then he answered "Hey!" 
in a low voice. TxamsEm called him still again. He answered, 
"Hey, hey!" with a very weak voice. "Now I will pull up my 
fishing-hnes," said TxamsEm; and after he had hauled his lines into 
the canoe, he paddled away home. 

TxamsEm paddled very hard. He called again, "Little Pitch!" 
but there was no answer; so he went to see what had happened to 
Little Pitch. As soon as he touched the mat that covered Little 
Pitch, behold! pitch was running out all over the hahbut. Little 
Pitch was dead, and melted pitch ran all over the hahbut. Therefore 
the hahbut is black on one side. 

TxamsEm was very glad. He paddled along until he reached the 
shore in front of Little Pitch's house, expecting to get a good supper 
from Little Pitch's wife. He took the hne, tied up his canoe, and 
went up, glad in his heart. He went on and on, but could not find 
any house. He searched every^vhere, but could not find it. Only a 
little green spruce tree was standing there, with a chop of pitch 
upon one side. Finally TxamsEm remembered that his canoe was 
full of hahbut; so he went down to the beach, being very hungry, but 
h(! could not find his canoe. Only a spruce log with roots was there. 
Then TxamsEm felt very badly. 

(28) txa'msem kills grizzly beari 

There was no food with which TxamsEm could satisfy his hunger. 
He began to cry, for he was very hungry ; and he went on, no t knowing 
which way to go. Finally he arrived on one side of a large bay, and 
saw a small house on the other side, and a small canoe on the beach 
in front of the house. TxamsEm went toward the house, and entered. 
In the house was an old man vnth his two wives. The house was full 

I Notes, p. 680. 

05 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. anm. 31 

of dried fish^ — halibut and other kinds — and of dried meat of mountain 
goat, and there were fat and all kinds of dried berries. They spread 
a mat out, and let TxamsEm sit on it. They gave him some of the 
good food they had; and while TxiimsEm was eating his meal, he 
said to his new friend, "Sir, may I join you tomorrow, when you go 
out to catch hahbut?" Chief Grizzly Bear said that he had no bait; 
but TxamsEm rephed, "We shall have bait from our own bodies." 
So Chief Bear consented, and they went to bed. 

When TxamsEm knew that they were all asleep, he went out 
secretly to the creek, caught a cohoes salmon, and cut off its tail. 
Early the following morning TxamsEm went down first, launched 
Chief Grizzly Bear's canoe, and then the chief also went down. They 
started for the fishing-bank. When they reached the fishing-ground, 
TxamsEm pretended to cut off part of his belly, and to tie it on to 
his hook for bait. Grizzly Bear saw it, but he was afraid to do the 
same. Grizzly Bear was surprised when he saw what TxamsEm was 
doing. Then TxamsEm urged him, saying, "Go on! do the same," 
but Grizzly was afraid to do so. Then TxamsEm forced him to do 
so. He threw his knife to Grizzly Bear, and Grizzly Bear took the 
Icnrfe and cut off part of his own body. Soon he fainted. When he 
felt that he was dying, he rushed at TxamsEm, trying to kill him; but 
TxiimsEm jumped out and clung to the bottom of the canoe. When 
he heard that Grizzly Bear was dead, he went back into the canoe. 
Then he went ashore and hurried toward the house. 

He said to the two female Grizzly Bears, "Your husband has 
fainted, and he wiU die. If you want to bring him back to life, bring 
me two stones." Then the two women went, and brought each a 
small stone. TxamsEm put these stones into the fire, and, when they 
were red-hot, he told the women each to swallow one. The female 
Grizzly Bears trusted him. When the stones were red-hot, TxamsEm 
took two wooden tongs, took up the stones, and said to each of the 
women, "Now, dear chief tainess, open your mouth and close your 
eyes!" They did so, and TxamsEm put the hot stones into their 
mouths. Then they tumbled about, and TxamsEm struck them until 
they wei-e dead. Thus TxamsEm killed three Grizzly Bears in one 
day. He went down to the beach at once and took out of the canoe 
the Grizzly Bear that he had killed. He cut it up first, and then his 
two wives. TxamsEm staid there many days. He had a good time, 
and ate all he wanted every day. 

(29) txa'msem kills deer' 

When TxamsEm had eaten the provisions of the Grizzly Bear, he 
went on, not knowing where to go. Soon he came to the mouth of the 
creek where there were humpback salmon. He saw a little hut on 

' Notes, p. 703. 


tlie other side. lie went to it, and saw a man and his wife, two per- 
sons, in the house. TxamsEm went in, and sat down on one side of 
the fire. These persons were smoking humpback sahnon, and they 
fed TxamsEm with good food; and while TxamsEm was eating, he 
said to his new friend, "O brother-in-law! (he called the Deer his 
brother-in-law) let us go tomorrow and cut wood, for you have no 
good wood fit ior smoking salmon. I know what kind of wood you 
need for your salmon." The Deer trusted him, and on the following 
morning they went out. TxiLmsEm saw a rotten hemlock tree, 
which, as he said, would make good wood for his brother-in-law to 
dry salmon -with.. Therefore the people now know that this kind of 
wood is good for smoking sahnon. TxamsEm cut down one of the 
trees, and cut the wood of right lengths. While he was sjiUtting the 
wood, his wedges jumped out. He tried it again, but the wedges 
jumped out again. Wlien his brother-in-law saw the wedges jump 
out often, he stepped up to him and took hold of the wedges. When 
the Deer took off his hands, the wedges jumped out again. "Take 
hold of them again!" said TxamsEm to his brother-in-law. "Come 
a httle nearer!" He did so. ''Don't be afraid, brother-in-law!" 
So the poor Deer put his head close to the wedges. Then TxamsEm 
struck the wedges with his stone hammer, and said to the Deer, 
"Come a little nearer to the wedges!" for the wedges always jumped 
out. Then the Deer was afraid. TxamsEm said, "Don't be afraid! 
I won't hiu-t you." So the Deer put his head quite close to the 
wedges; and while TxamsEm was st liking them with his hammer, he 
sang out, " Wo wu, wo wu, wo wu!" iVfter he had done so, he hit 
the Deer's head, and the Deer fell dowTi dead. TxamsEm made a 
fire, and put flat stones in it. lie made a hole in the ground, and 
when the flat stones were red-hot, he gathered leaves of the skimlc- 
cabbage, cut up the fat deer, and put it on the hot stones. He put the 
cover on, and put water on the hot stones to steam the meat in the hole. 
When he uncovered the fat meat that he had cooked, he was very 
happ3^. TxamsEm saw a large stump ' which was lying near the 
hole. Then he took part of the fat meat, shook it at the big Stump, 
and said to the Stump, "Wouldn't you like to have my fat meat, old 
Stump?" He did so many times. After he had eaten, he went to 
get some more leaves of the skunk-cabbage, which were to servo as 
his dish. After he had left, the great Stump moved, and sat down 
on top of the hole where the meat was. Now TxamsEm returned. 
Behold! the Stump was on top of his meat. He cried aloud on 
accoimt of his food. TxamsEm went up to the Stump, and said, 
"Just sit a Kttle farther, friend! I will eat with you of my fat 
meat." He did all he could to move the great Stump. "Just sit a 

1 See p. 6S. 

90 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. anjj. 31 

little farther off, and I will cat with you, dear friend! Oh, have 
pity on me, dear friend!" 

Finalh', when the Stump had eaten all the fat meat, he moved off 
from the hole, and TxamsKm saw that only bare bones were left in 
the hole. He took these bare bones, broke them to find sometliing 
in them, and cried. 

In the evenuig he went into his canoe. He put black paint on his 
face, and paddled along, smging — 

"Hi, hi, hi! a great party of wolves metus onourwayhome and killed my grandfather! 
Hi, hi, hi! a great party of wolves met us on our way home and killed my brother-in- 

O my grandfather!" 

The Deer's wife was standing in front of their house. Soon TxiimsEm 
came to the beach, and she asked him, "What has happened to 
you ?" TxamsEm was stUl crying — 

" Hi, hi, hi! a great party of wolves met us on our way home and killed my grandfather! 
Hi, hi, hi! a great party of wolves met us on our way home and killed my brother-in- 

O my grandfather! " 

Then the Deer's wife shook her little short tail and ran away from 
him. TxamsEm went into the house of the Deer, and ate all the 
provisions in the house. 

(30) txa'msem imitates chief seal' 

After TxamsEm had eaten everything, he went on again. He came 
to a long point, and, behold ! there was a house. He entered, for he was 
very hungry. This was the house of the Seal. Cliief Seal spread a 
new mat, and TxamsEm sat down on it. Then Seal roasted a chied 
salmon, put it in a dish, and placed it before TxamsEm. Seal took 
another dish and placed it near the fire. Then he held up both liis 
hands close to the fii-e, with the back of his hands toward the fii-e, 
so that they grew warm, and oil dripped from his fingers and ran 
into the dish, which he gave to TxamsEm to dip the salmon into. 
TxamsEm dipped lus salmon into the oil and ate. Then he took 
a dish and filled it with seal blubber, and he put more oil over it. 
TxiimsEm was very glad, for he had eaten enough in the house of the 

Then he left. He built a house; and when he had finished it, he 
mvitcd the Seal to his new house. The Seal came to visit him, and 
sat down in the rear of the house. TxamsEm took a dish and placed 
it near the fire. He held up his hands, so that they grew warm, 
and his fingers, eyes, and mouth were scorched. TxamsEm fell back 
like one dead, and he lay there a long time. Then the Seal arose. 
There was no oil m the dish. He said, "Oh, he tries to do what 

1 Notes, pp. 694, 696. 


I do!" TxamsEin was much ashamed. He arose, went into -the 
woods, found some pitch, and put it on liis fingers. 

People say that in olden times all the joints of man's or woman's 
fingers had eyes and mouths until TxamsEm held up his hands when 
he invited Cliief Seal into his house, and that man's fingers have had 
no eyes and no mouths since; when people ate food in those days, 
the fingers also ate. 

(31) txa'msem imitates chief kingfisher^ 

Again TxamsEm went on. He came to a creek, and saw a house in 
front of him. It was a verj' nice house. He went toward it ; and when 
he went in, he saw a good-lookuig young man who was making a hook. 
^Vllen TxamsEm entered, the young man looked at him, arose hastily, 
and spread a new mat on the floor. Then the young man went and 
fetched a pad of water. He took a nice dish, and roasted a dried 
salmon. He put it into the dish, and placed it before TxamsEiu. 
This young man was Chief Ivingfisher. He had large stores of all kinds 
of provisions, and gave nearly everything to TxamsEm. At last he 
took a nice dish and stretched liis foot out over it. Then he took a 
smooth stone, struck his ankle, and salmon eggs pom-ed out of it and 
filled the dish. He placed it before TxamsEm, gave him a wooden 
spoon, and TxiimsEm ate it all and was very much pleased. He left 
the house of Kingfisher when he had had enough. 

Then he thought that he would invite his friend to Adsit him. 
Now, TxamsEm built a house better than that of young Kingfisher. 
When he had finished it, he invited lilngfisher, who sat down along- 
side the fire. TxamsEm took a dish, stretched out his foot over the 
dish, took a smooth stone and struck his ankle. He fell back, and 
said, "Oh, I am ahnost dead!" Then yoimg I\ingfisher flew away 
from him, and TxamsEm was very much ashamed. His foot was 
sore and swoUen, and he lay there a long time imtil it became well 
again. ' 

(32) txa'msem IMITATES THE THRUSH' 

Again he went, not knowuig wluch way to tm-n. He came to a 
large river where there were many salmonl)erry bushes. There was 
a laouse, and TxamsEm went toward it. There he saw a fine- 
looking man, the Tlnush, who invited TxamsEm to come in. The 
good-lookhig young man took some dried salmon, roasted them, put 
them in a dish, and placed them before TxamsEm, who ate. Wlien 
he had finished eating salmon, he drank water. Then Thrush took a 
nice clean dish, wiped it out, arose, and took it up to the smoke hole. 
Then he sang — 

"Jliyu gumik gumik gumih gumxk! " 

I Notes, pp. 694, 696. 


Aftor he had done so four times, he placed the dish before TxamsEm. 
It was full of red and yellow salraonberries, which TxamsEm enjoyed 
very much. Ho ate them all. 

Then he thought again that he would do the same; and while the 
young man was busy, TxamsEm secretly took some of the unripe 
salraonberries, put them into his left hand, and as soon as he had 
left the house, he built a house for himself and invited the Thrush 
to his new home. When his guest came in, he sat down on one side 
of TxamsEm's house. TxamsEm took a dish, lifted it up to the 
smoke hole, and put into it the unripe salraonberries that he had 
taken away from Thrush's house. He held up the dish and said, 
" Mlga, miga!" He said so very often, but there remained just as 
many unripe salmonborries in his dish as he had put in, and Txam- 
sEra's hands were tired from holding up the dish. Ho placed it before 
the Thrush, who arose, saying, "You tried to imitate me." Then 
TxamsEm was ashamed. He sat down in his house. 

(33) TXa'mSEM and CORMORANT' 

TxamsEm went on agam, not knowing which way to turn. He went 
toward the sea; and, behold! he saw a house some distance away. 
He came near, entered, and sat down on one side of the fire. A man 
was there with his wife. This was the house of Chief Cormorant. 
The man's wife arose and roasteil dried salmon by the fu-e. She put 
it into a dish and placed itbeforeTxiimsEm, who ate it all. She uncov- 
ered steamed halibut and seal meat, put it into a dish, and gave it to 
TxiimsEm, who ate it all. The house of Chief Cormorant was full 
of dried halibut and dried seal meat. After TxiimsEm had eaten, he 
said to Chief Cormorant, "Dear chief, let us go tomorrow to catch 
halibut!" Thus spoke TxamsEm to Chief Cormorant. The chief 
replied at once, and said, "We wUl go tomorrow morning," and in 
the evening they prepared their hooks and fishing-lines. Night came, 
and before it was dayhght TxamsEm arose and called Chief Cor- 
morant. Chief Cormorant awoke at once and arose. They went 
aboard the canoe, and paddled to the fishing-ground, each with a 
mat on his knees. As soon as they came to the fishing-ground, they 
baited their hooks and tlirew the lines into the water. Wlien the 
fishing-lines touched the bottom, Chief Cormorant had a bite from 
a halibut at once, and hauled up his Ime with a hahbut at each end.^ 
He clubbed them and took them into the canoe. Then he threw his 
fish-hne back into the water. Immediately he had another bite 
from two halibut. He hauled up his line and clubbed them again. 
TxiimsEm felt very bad because he did not get a bite from the hali- 
but. Chief Cormorant threw out his line again; and when his hooks 
touched the bottom, he had another bite. Then he hauled up the 

1 Notes, p. 678. 

2 The halibut-line is provided with a crosspiece, to each end of which a hook is attached. — F. B. 


halibut and clubbed them. Chief Cormorant had not been there 
long when his boat was fuU of large halibut, and all the haHbut had 
their heads toward Chief Cormorant; but TxiimsEm caught no 
halibut at all, while the chief was filling his canoe with fish. 

The chief said to TxamsEm, "Let us go home, for we have enough . 
halibut!" Then they hauled up their lines and paddled home with 
then- canoe full of halibut. Now TxiimsEm was silent. Then Chief 
Cormorant said to his friend, "I will give you some of my halibut;" 
and TxiimsEm said to Cormorant, "Let us go ashore and refresh 
ourselves!" So they went ashore to refresh themselves. When they 
reached the beach, they stepped out of their canoe, and the sun 
shone on the sandy beach. 

Now, TxilmsEm said to Cormorant, ' 'Just stand still! I see a large 
louse on the back of your head." So the Cormorant stood there, 
while TxamsEm went toward hun. He said, "Ha! I caught your 
big louse. Now put out j^our tongue, that I may put your louse on 
it! " The Cormorant put his tongue way out; and wliile he was domg 
so, TxiimsEm took hold of the tongue and tore it out. Then Cor- 
morant tried to speak; but he could not, for he had no tongue. 
TxiimsEm went down to the canoe, and the poor Cormorant came 
down and went aboard the canoe, unable to talk. Many times he 
tried to speak, but TxiimsEm did not understand him. TxiimsEm 
paddled back home. When they arrived at the beach of Cor- 
morant's town, the people came down and saw that the canoe was 
full of halibut; but CMef Cormorant was lying in the bow of the 
canoe, covered with a mat. They questioned him, and asked, ' ' What 
is the matter with you, chief?" Then TxiimsEm lied, saymg that 
Cliief Cormorant had not caught any halibut; that therefore he had 
put his own hook into his mouth, and had torn out his own tongue. 
The people took off the mats that covered Chief Cormorant, and saw 
that his tongue was lost. The people questioned lum. He tried to 
speak, but they did not understand him. Then Chief Cormorant 
made signs ^vith his fingers, and thus told his people that TxiimsEm 
had torn out his tongue on their way back from the fishing-ground, 
because TxiimsEm had caught nothing. 

Chief Cormorant's mouth was full of blood ; therefore all his people 
assembled and flew around TxiimsEm, and struck at his cheeks with 
theu- wings, and some of them scratched his head with their claws, 
and pecked at his eyes with their biUs. TxiimsEm tried to escape; 
but the Cormorants were so many, that he was unable to do so. At 
last he put on his raven garment and flew away tlirough the smoke 
hole, crymg, "Caw, caw, caw!" He went away, starving and hun- 
gry. For this reason the Cormorant can not speak distinctly nowa- 
days. As TxiimsEm had cursed them, therefore all the cormorants 
have black feathers now. He himseH was badly bruised all over his 

94 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY ' [eth. axn. 31 

(34) txa'msem and the wolves' 

TxiimsEm went on again in the woods, lonely, without any friends. 
There was no meat for him to eat. At last he came out of the forest 
at a place where a house was standing in the valley. TxamsEm went 
toward it. Before he arrived there, the sound of the voices of young 
men met hhn proceeding from the house. They askeil hmi where he 
came from and where he was going. TxanasEm repUed, saying that he 
was out huntmg, and the young men were glad to learn that he was 
a hunter. Therefore they invited hun m. Many people were in the 
house. They spread mats on one sitle of the large fire. TxamsEm 
sat down and looked around, and he saw that the house was full of 
all kinds of meat. There was some fresh meat. He smiled when he 
was looking around. Then they roasted dried salmon, and put it in 
a dish and placed it in fi"ont of TxamsEm. He ate. The next course 
was boiled dried meat, ami then fresh meat steamed in a hole in the 
ground. This was the house of Chief Wolf and of his people. Txam- 
sEm was afraid. On the followuig day Chief Wolf said to his hunt- 
ers, "Bring me some fresh meat tomorrow, wliile our friend is 
staying with us ! ' ' Then all the young people got ready for the fol- 
lowing morning; and early in the morning they started, as soon as 
the sun rose. They came home one by one, bringing all kinds of 
animals. Some brought mountam goats, some venison, some black 
bear, some geese, and so on. TxamsEm did not know what to do, 
for he was afraid of the Wolves. He tried often to obtain all those 
provisions which he saw in the house of the chief of the Wolves. 
The Wolves ditl not sleep in the night, and they smelt everything; 
therefore TxamsEm could not deceive them. 

On the following day TxamsEm intended to leave them for a while, 
and he said he would be back after a few days. He told Chief Wolf 
that he was going for Ids hunting-gear. Cliief Wolf ordered his 
servants to fill a big bag with fat meat, which he was going to give 
to his friend to eat on liis way. On the following morning he started. 
He had not gone long before he had eaten all the fat meat in his bag. 

(35) txa'msem and chief GROUSE^ 

Then TxamsEm climbed a mountain and saw a house on the other 
side. He went up to it secretly and looked in through a knot-hole. 
Behold ! there were a woman and her two cluldren. He left secretly, 
and went a little farther back and sat there a wliile. Then three 
Crows whom TxamsEm had called came to him. He was going to 
pretend that one of the Crows was his wife and the two others were 
liis chikh-en; so they went together toward the little house. Before 
they reached there, behold! a hunter came down with fi-esh meat of 
mountain goats, and the two cliildren of the hunter came forth to 

1 Notes, p. 720. 2 Notes, p. 716. 


meet their father. Tliis was the house of Cluef Grouse. The two 
chikh-en remained outside while the father went in. The chilch-en 
saw a man, Ms wife, and liis two cliildren coming along toward them. 
Then they ran in and told their parents that a stranger was coming 
to tliem, and their parents were ready to receive him. Cliief Grouse 
invited in the visitor and his family. They went in, and Grouse gave 
them food imtil they all had had enough. TxamsEm said that he 
would cami> with them for a while, and Chief Grouse agreed. Early 
the following morning Chief Grouse arose and began to make arrows 
and darts. He made many; and on the following day Chief Grouse 
went, and TxamsEm went also. In the evening TxamsEm came 
home first. He had caught nothing. Late in the evening Cliief 
Grouse came home with an abundance of meat of mountain goats 
and with fat, and liis children were very glad because theii- father 
had brought them fat food — the fat of the intestines of mountain 
goats and the fat of kidneys. 

TxamsEm's children were very anxious to have some of the fresh 
meat and fat. On the following day Chief Grouse made more arrows 
and darts. Wlien he had finished them, he went agam, leaving very 
early. On the following morning TxamsEm also started. He followed 
Chief Grouse secretly; and when Cliief Grouse arrived at the foot of a 
great steep cliff, he stood there with his bow in his hand, ready to 
shoot. He began to shoot his arrows at the cracks of the cliff, and 
TxamsEm saw what he was doing. After Cliief Grouse had shot all 
liis new arrows, he shouted four times; and all of a sudden a bright 
young man stood by his side, and Cliief Grouse stood still by the side 
of the bright young man. Then the bright young man questioned 
Chief Grouse: "Whose arrows are these?" — "O dearest supernatural 
helper! all these are your arrows." Then the bright young man 
vanished from the sight of Cluef Grouse; and, behold! a mountain 
goat fell from the high cliff down to the place where Grouse was 
standing. After TxamsEm had seen tliis, he went away secretly. 
Chief Grouse got four large mountain goats. He cut them up, and 
late in the evening he came home with aU the fat of the mountain 
goats. Again his people welcomed tlieii' father gladly, because 
he came home with much fresh meat. Chief Grouse fed TxamsEm 
and liis family with the fresh meat and fat. 

Then TxamsEm questioned Chief Grouse: "Ai-e you going to hunt 
tomorrow?" — "No, Ishallnotgo," answered Cliief Grouse. "Well," 
said TxamsEm, "I will go myself tomorrow early in the morning." 
Early the next morning TxamsEm went out right to the place where 
Cliief Grouse had gone the other day, and he began to shoot his new 
arrows. When he had finished shooting, he shouted with all his 
might at the foot of the high cUfl. He shouted four times, and 
immediately a bright young man stood by Ms side. He asked 


TxiimsEm, "Whose darts and arrows are these?" and TxiimsEm 
stood there speechless. He did not know what to answer to the 
young man. The bright young man asked him again, " Wliose darts 
and arrows are these?" TxamsEm was doubtful what to answer, 
for he had not heard what Cluef Grouse had answered when the 
supernatural being was standing at Ms side the day before. TxamsEm 
rephed after the second question, "These are my own darts and 
arrows, my own, my own tsidan, Raven's tsidan, his own tsidan."^ 
Then the supernatural bright young man was angry, because 
TxamsEm was proud and had not answered the right way. He said 
to TxamsEm, "I shall break your bad arrows," and he threw them 
down the steep rock. Then the bright young man vanished from his 
side, and TxamsEm turned back. He had not a single arrow left. 
He had only his bow and his hunting-knife. He felt very bad, 
turned back, and cut his own beUy with his knife. He took out 
part of Ms own intestines, and put them around his walking-staff. 
Late in the evemng he came home, and his cliildren were glad when 
their father came home wath Ms staff with the intestmes wound 
around it. Then the children sang a song — 

" Only my father brought home intestines of wild animals! " 

Then they unwrapped the intestines from the staff, and TxamsEm 
was sitting down by the side of the fire without a word, looldng at 
liis cluldren while they were unwrapping the intestines from the 
staff. Soon the children had taken off the intestines, and they threw 
them on the fire to cook them; and as soon as they were scorched, 
TxamsEm fell back fainting. Therefore his wife and his two cluldren 
flew away from him. Thus Chief Grouse perceived that it was 
TxamsEm. He took liis dead body and threw it down the steep 

After TxamsEm had lain there a wliile, he came back to life, arose, 
and sat down at the foot of the high cUff. He felt that his belly was 
empty, for he had no intestines. Therefore the raven has no intes- 
tines now. 

(36) TXa'mSEM returns to the WOLVES^ 

TxamsEM went on, and the wound in his belly pained him 
much. He went a long way, not knowing wMph way to turn. Still 
he remembered Ms promise to Chief Wolf to return to him soon. 
Therefore he searched everywhere trying to find the Wolves' village. 
After a while he met two hunters, and asked them, "Will you tell me 
where the village of Chief Wolf is ?" The two young men said, " We 
belong to Chief Wolf's people. "— " WUl you take me to him ? "— " Yes, " 
replied the two hunters, "come and go with us!" TxamsEm was 

• The meaning of this word is unknown to me.— F. B. ' Notes, p. 720. 


glad to follow them. They ran as fast as they could, and TxamsEm 
followed them; but he soon was tired of running, for he was very 
hungry, and his belly gave him pain. Therefore he was very weak, 
and walked a long time. Before evening set in, the two young men 
had left him behind, and TxamsEm camped in the woods, under a 
large spruce tree. On the following morning, when he awoke, he tried 
to get up; but he was very weak, for he had had nothing to eat for 
three or four days. Wlien the sun rose up in the sky, a little tomtit 
was flying about near TxamsEm, who called him. Then the Uttle 
bird came to lum. TxamsEm said to him, "Will you kindly tell me 
where Chief Wolf's town is?" The httle Tomtit repUed, "Oh, 
yes! I wiU do it. Follow me." TxamsEm thanked him, and said 
to Tomtit, "Don't fly zigzag when we are on our way, for I am very 
weak, and my body feels heavy, for I have had notliing to eat for 
four days and a half." So little Tomtit questioned him, and said, 
"Su', where have you been ever since?" Now, TxamsEm told him his 
story, and said, "I have been in camp with Cliief Grouse — his family 
and my family. We went out hunting every morning, and I always 
killed many mountain goats, and my jiartner had none. Therefore 
he was angry with me, and struck nae down with liis club, knocking 
me over the back of my head, and I lay on the ground almost dead. 
Then he took me by the leg and tlu'ew me down the side of a liigh 
cliff. He also cut my belly before he threw me down. " 

Therefore the Uttle bird said, "Now let us go!" They went 
together, the little Tomtit flying all the time, and the big TxamsEm 
walking slowly after him. Every time the Tomtit jumped, he said, 
"Tsiap, tslap!" all along their way. When he said "Tsiapf" he 
meant, "This way, old friend!" 

Before they arrived at the town of Chief Wolf, Tomtit came to 
TxiimsEm's side, and said, "Now I will go back home, for I am afraid 
of the Wolves." Thus he said to TxiirasEm. TxiimsEm saw the 
smoke rising from the village of Chief Wolf, and he was glad to see 
the smoke yonder. He walked on quickly, and arrived at the end 
of the village. Some young men came out to meet him; and when 
they reached him, they ran around him, taking up his scent. Txiim- 
sEm was afraid of them, because they were smelling around him. 
The young men asked him where he came from and where he was 
going. He replied, "I just intended to visit Chief Wolf's village, 
since I promised to come back again, and now I am back here." 
The young men continued to ask him, "With whom have you been 
all this time?" TxamsEm said, "I just want to see Chief Wolf." 
Then they led him to the house of theu- chief. As soon as TxamsEm 
entered, all the people in the house raised their noses because they 
smcllcd the bloody wound in TxamsEm's body. Therefore the 
cliief asked him, " Wliat has happened, that your bodv is filled with 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 7 


blood?" TxamsEm replied, saying, "As I was going to get my 
hunting-gear, I met a person on the way — a man and his wife and 
his two children. He asked me to accompany him to his huntmg- 
ground. I did so, and went with him. One morning I went hunt'mg 
with him, and I killed more mountain sheep than he did, and also 
some black bears. Then I went home to fetch -my family to our 
camp. On the following morning we went again to his hunting- 
gi'ound, and I killed more than I did before. Therefore he was 
angry with me, and struck me with his club; and I fell to the ground, 
and lay there for a while. He also cut my belly and took out my 
intestines, and he threw me down a steep cliff. I must have lain 
there a long time; but at last I revived, and I tried to get up, but I 
was weak. After a while I felt a little better. I remember that you 
were a kind friend to me, and so I have come here to see you before I 

Then Chief WoK questioned him, and asked, " How far is that from 
here?"— "Oh, it is quite a long way off." — "How many days since 
it happened?" He answered, "Four or five days ago." — "Have 
you had anything to eat since that time?" — "Oh, no!" Chief WoK 
took pity on TxamsEm when he told his story, and he asked TxilmsEm 
whether it was a long way off, because he wanted to take revenge on 
TxamsEm's enemy. Chief WoK believed the deceitful TxamsEm. 
Now, Chief Wolf ordered his attendants to give his friend TxiimsEm 
fat food, and they did as the chief had ordered them. They gave 
him all kinds of rich meat and fat. Therefore TxamsEm became well 
again, for he was eating rich food every day. 

He staid among the Wolves for a long time. Every house was 
full of rich meat and of fat; but he was not satisfied, for he wanted 
the rich food for himself. So, on the followmg evening, as soon as 
he had finished eating, he said to Chief Wolf, "I will go out with 
your young men when they go out hunt ing. I think I can do better 
than they." Thus he said. Chief WoK smiled, and said, "All 
right, friend! I hope they won't leave you behind, for my attend- 
ants run as quickly as birds fly, so I am afraid that they will leave 
you behind." In the evening all the young men made ready for 
the next day, and very early the following morning they started. 
TxamsEm was up also. They all went, and TxamsEm accompanied 
two young Wolves. As soon as they arrived at the foot of one of 
the high mountains, they looked up, and, behold ! the top of the moun- 
tain was full of mountain sheep. TxiimsEm said to his companions, 
"I will remain here while you go up there." The two young Wolves 
consented. They climbed up one side of the high mountain, trying 
to get up to the mountain sheep. Soon they arrived there; and the 
two young Wolves killed almost all of thom, and threw them down 
one side of the high mountain, letting them slide down to TxiimsEm. 


When they had thrown down all they had killed, they refreshed 
themselves; and TxamsEm gathered all the game, covered it with 
hemlock leaves, and left only four or five uncovered. When the 
two young men had refreshed themselves, they went down, and found 
very few carcasses. TxamsEm sat there without saying anything. 
They asked him, "Are these mountain sheep all that came down?" — 
"Yes, that is all." ' Then the two young men raised their noses to 
smell, and soon found the pile of hemlock leaves. They scratched 
them off, and found the animals. Then they asked TxamsEm, 
"Wlio hid those animals here?"— "Where ?" said he. "I did it, 
for I was afraid that some one might come and take them away, for 
you staid away a long time." So they took them all out, and 
gathered them in one pile. TxamsEm was ashamed. Therefore 
the two young Wolves went away, howling, until all the Wolves 
gathered together to carry the carcasses down. They all took them 
down to the chief's house. 

TxamsEm came down also. Now, Chief WoK's house was full of 
mountain sheep, and all the Wolves were glad. TxiimsEm sat there 
alone. No one spoke a word to him. Then the chief gave a great 
feast to his people. TxamsEm looked pitifully at the chief's face; 
therefore Chief Wolf fed him with good food. When the feast 
was over, two young men went secretly to the chief, and told hun 
that his friend had hidden the animals that they killed before they 
came down. After these men had spoken. Chief Wolf asked his 
friend how he liked huntuig. TxamsEm said, "It delighted mo very 
much, sir." — "Will you go agam with these men?" — "Yes," was 
his answer, "but I want to go alone." — "All right! you shall go." 
On the following morning the men started out huntuig agam, and 
TxamsEm went last. He followed secretly behind them. Soon two 
young men saw that on the top of a mountain there were many 
mountain sheep. They went up, and TxiimsEm looked at them 
secretly. They killed as many as they could, and let them slide 
down the side of the high mountain. Then they lay down on the 
gi'ound on top of the mountain to refresh themselves. After they 
had been there some time, T.xamsEm took many carcasses down to 
the beach and hid them from the Wolves. The two young men 
missed some of the mountain sheep; but they smelled all along the 
way that TxamsEin had dragged them, and so they soon found the 
pile of carcasses. They questioned TxamsEm, who was standing by 
these carcasses. "Who dragged them down here? Where are 
they?" — "I killed them myself." — ^"No, you dragged them down 
here." These two young men were angry with him. So one of 
them went away, and the other one remained to watch over the 
game; and the one that had gone away began to howl. Soon all 
the Wolves came that way, howling; but TxamsEin stood there, 

100 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. ai 

ready for them, put on his raven garment , and flew away. The chief's 
son decided to kill the man who had dragged down these animals. 
They rushed at him; but TxiimsEm ran as fast as he could toward 
a log that floated a little way out on the water. He flew, and alighted 
on it. Then the Wolves went away with the carcasses, but TxiimsEm 
paddled to the north country on the floating log. He drifted to 
Cape Fox with the tide. Therefore the canoes do not capsize in 
stormy weather when they cross over there. We call the place 
"Mouth Of Nass River" up to this time. 

(37) txa'msem invites the monsters ' 

TxamsEm had been away from this country for a long time, many 
years; and when he came back from the north, wearing the old 
raven garment, he gave a great feast to all the monsters on one of 
the outer islands. When his guests came into the bay on the outer 
side of that island, TxiimsEm went out to meet them. Tlie water 
was fuU in front of the new carved house that T.xamsEm had built. 
This was the first potlatch to M'hich he invited all kinds of monsters; 
and when they came into the bay, TxamsEm stood m front of his house 
and began to address his guests. "O chiefs! I am so glad to see that 
you have come to my potlatch. I have been away from this country 
for a long time, therefore I am glad to see you again. I want to say 
something else. I wish you would stay there and become rocks." 
Then aU the monsters became rocks. He continued, "And I will 
also become a rock." As soon as TxamsEm said this, the devilfish 
went down quickly. Therefore the de%'ilfish stays now at the bottom 
of the sea. The people were much pleased because all the monsters 
had been turned into stone; and TxamsEm himself became a stone 
shaped like a raven, and only the devilfish remains alive. The people 
say that nowadays, when a devilfish comes out of the water, the 
people cry, "Caw, caw, caw!" like a raven, and the devilfish dies 
when he hears the raven cry. That island is full of stones shaped 
like aU kijids of monsters — whales, killer whales, sharks, and so on — 
and the raven stands in front of his carved house even now.^ 

(38) THE FLTETHER history OF TXA'mSEM ^ 

There was a great cliief among the G^i-lu-dza'r named T!Em-nunx. 
Three years before the white people reached this country the great 
chief T!Em-nunx gave a great feast to all the Tsimshian tribes. He 
built a very good carved house, carved on the outside, and with 
carved timbers inside even better than the outer carving. After he 
had finished his house, he invited all the Tsimshian chiefs to his new 
carved house; and when the chiefs came in, they were delighted to 

1 Notes, p. 718. 'Seep. 13S. ' Notes, p. 72.S. 


see the beautiful carvings in T!Em-nunx's house: and the Tsinishian 
people spread the fame of liLs house, telling how nice it was; and all 
the people around the Tsinishian talked about the beautiful carved 
house of T!Em-nunx. And so all the people round about came to see 
the house. Finally all the animals also heard of the fame of T!Em- 
nunx's house. 

Now, TxiimsEm also heard about this. Every day since Chief 
TiEm-nunx had finished his house it was full of people, and eveiy 
night all kinds of animals came in to see the carved timbers. This 
beautiful house was buUt on the Skeena River, at the mouth of 
K-lax-g"ils River, where the G"i-lu-dza'r tribe lived. 

After a whUe, before sjjring, when the people were ready to go to 
Nass River to fish for olachen, one midnight Chief TiEm-nunx could 
not sleep, and he saw that the door of his house was secretly opened. 
Then he called his wofe, and asked her what it might be. Tliey 
looked, and saw a gi"eat man enter. He crept along, came in, and 
began to look at the carved tunbers. Before the giant had fuiished 
looking over the house, the cliief was filled Avith fear, and groaned. 
Therefore the giant stepped out quickly. 

On the following morning the chief invited his whole tribe in, and 
told them what had happened in his house on the previous niglit. 
Therefore all his men agi-eed to watch the f oUowmg night ; and when 
night came, three men lay in wait at the door. One of the chief's 
men had a gun loaded with five bullets; and before midnight the 
door was secretly opened again, as had happened before; and, 
behold! a great man crept in and looked at the carvings which he 
had not been able to examine the night before. Tlien the three men 
who lay in wait for hun shot him. The man M-ho had the gun was 
scared, but the others had more courage, and took the gun from him 
and shot the giant in the breast with the five bullets; but the giant 
took no notice of it, and the man who lay in wait faulted. The chief 
did not faint at all. Wlien the giant had examined all the timbers, 
he went out, and the three men did not know who it was whom they 
had shot. Then the people M^ere afraid, because they had shot a 
supernatural being. 

Many years passed on. Two years after the canneries had been 
established on Skeena River, not many years ago, a yomig man of 
the upper Skeena River was gambling with another one. He lost 
aD his goods, and also those of his wife and his two children. There- 
fore he was very sad, for his wife had nothuig to wear, and they had 
no food for then' children. Therefore the young man went away 
from his empty, lonely house. He wandered about in the moun- 
tains. He had passed over many mountains; and after he had done 
so, he came to the border of a great plain. Tliere he found a narrow 
trail, which he followed. Finallv lie saw smoke ascending in tl)e 

102 TSIMSHIAX MYTHOLOGY [eth. an.x. .-U 

distance. He went toward it ; and when he fame there, he discovered 
a deep valley. He stood at the edge of the deep valley and looked 
down into it. He Saw a hut in it, and the smoke ascended from it. 
He looked in another du-ection, and he saw that the trail which he 
had followed went straight down in front of the little hut. So he 
went down the trail. He looked secretly through a knot-hole, and 
saw a great man lying there, with his back turned toward the fire. 
The great man spoke to the young man who had come secret h' to his 
door, and said, "Come in, my dear! for I have known about you ever 
since you left your home." So the young man went in. 

The giant sat up antl looked at the yomig man. He began to 
speak, and questioned the yoimg man. "Did you hear your own 
history about TxamsEm?" The 3"oung man answered, "Yes." 
Tlien TxamsEm continued, "I am he," said he. "Do you see the 
wound in my chest ? I received it in the carved house of T!fcm-nunx." 
The young man was sm'prised, for he did not know about the carved 
house of TlEm-nimx. This giant was TxamsEm. He said to the 
yomig man, "I will give you some meat." He did so; and after the 
young man had had his meal, TxamsEm said, "This vallej- has been 
given to me tolivein." As soon as the young man had entered the hut, 
he had seen two pups lying by the side of the fire. TxamsEm called 
the j-oung man out ; and when they had gone out, TxiimsEm pointed 
with his iinger at the mountains which were all aromid his hut, and 
all these motmtains were full of mountain sheep. Other mountains 
were full of black bears and of all other kinds of animals. TxamsEm 
also said, "Do you see these animals? They are my provisions. 
Tlioy have been prepared for me, and it has been ordained that I 
shall stay here a little longer. Therefore I do not go about the world 
any more, but at a future day I shall begin to travel agam: but I do 
not know when, only Heaven liimself knows." 

After he had spoken, he called the pups by name. Then the pups 
arose and shook their bodies, and they became two hauhau' cubs. 
Therefore the young man was afraid; but TxiimsEm sent the two 
young hauhau up one of the moimtams which was fidl of mountain 
sheep. They went, and TxamsEm said to the young man, "Heaven 
gave me those two yomig Jiauhau to biing me meat every day;" 
and when TxamsEm had said these words, they heard the roaring of 
the two Jiauhau cubs on the mountain, and, behold! a great number 
of mountain sheep fell from the mountain by the side of TxamsEm's 
hut. TxamsEm skinned and carved them all. After he had cut them 
up, he took the meat and fat, wrapped them around his huntuig- 
stafl', and, when the fat was thick around his staff, TxamsEm squeezed 
the bundle four times. Thei\ the fat was finished. He also took 

I .\ fabulous animal. — F. B. 


the meat and wraiDped it over the fat around his staff; and when 
the staff was full, he squeezed it, and it was tliiu again. He did tliis 
four times, and all the meat was finished. 

Then TxamsEm gave it to the young man, saying, "Go back 
home!" The man replied, "I do not know my way, for it is far off. 
I do not think I shall ever get back to my house." Therefore 
TxamsEm led him up one of the mountains, and pointed out a certain 
direction. He said, "You shall go in the direction in wliich I point. 
Follow that narrow trail yonder. This trail leads to your house. 
You will soon get home." Then the young man said, "I have been 
traveling for many days. How can I get home quickly V TxamsEm 
repHed, "I will smooth your way for you. You shall reach home 
tonight. Keep your eyes on the narrow trail; and if you hear any- 
thing beldnd you on the way like thunder or terrible noises, don't 
look back, lest peril befall you. Keep your eyes on the trail mi til 
you reach above your viUage. Then you may look back, and you 
shall know what has happened." TxamsEm said also, "Have pa- 
tience, young man! Don't look behind you!" and he made the 
young man promise not to look back on liis way down to liis home. 

Now he was ready, and TxamsEm told him to go as quickly as possi- 
ble. The man took his gun on his left shoulder and TxamsEm's 
staff in his right hand. TxamsEm said, "Go quickly! My dogs will 
soon come and they might devour you." Therefore the young man 
went, and kept liis eyes on the narrow trail. The trail went along the 
middle of the large plain; and wliile he was running along, he heard 
a great noise hke the rolling of thunder, but the young man kept on 
gomg. He heard other terrible noises close behind, Uke the noise of 
mountain-sUdes, and the earth was quaking as he went along, but 
he kept liis eyes on the narrow trail. He heard more terrible noises 
close behind, and he ran as fast as he could to escape from the teiTors 
behind him, and the ground contiaued to tremble. He was full of 
fear, but he kept on, and befoi-e the sun set he arrived above his 
village and stood there. 

Then he looked back, and high mountains appeared where he had 
come from. TxiimsEm had smoothed those mountains where the 
young man had passed ; and as soon as the man had passed a mountain, 
the mountain stood up again as it had been before, and that made 
a terrible noise, for all the mountains arose again in their own places. 
There was no large plain and no narrow trail to be seen . Only high 
mountains covered the country beliind the man. He wondered on 
account of what had happened to liim. He stood there a while, 
thinking that he had been in a dream, but still he held the staff in his 
right hand, and his own gun on his left shoulder. He made up his 
mind to go down to his village, and laid down the staff and his rifle. 

104 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [etii. axn. 31 

He leaned Ms staff against the stump of a tree, and went down to his 
father's house. Secretly he looked in through a knot-hole, and he 
beheld his sister weeping beside the fire, and many people who were 
sittmg around the fire looked sorrowful. So he went hi secretly and 
stood behind his sister, who was sitting there weeping. He spoke to 
her. "Sister," said he, "is my wife still ahve?" His sister was 
sui-piised to see Mm, and all the people were glad to see Mm home 
agam. His poor wife came in with her two cMldren, and the naan 
took the two cMldren on Ms knees. He ordered Ms nephews to 
invite in the whole tribe. They did as their uncle had told them. 
When all the guests were in, the man went up with Ms four nephews 
to where he had left Ms staff, and the four young men could not lift 
it up: so the man liimsclf took it down to Ms house and placed it in 
front, inside of the house. He ordered mats to be spread in the rear 
of Ms father's house, and he took off the meat of mountain sheep 
and piled it up in a great heap. Then he took off the fat from the 
staff, and heaped up the fat by itself; and when he had taken off 
everything from Ms staff, he gave part of the meat to the people, and 
some fat, and he told them Ms storj^. 

"I went wandering among the mountains; and when I passed all 
the mountains and rivers and lakes, I came to a great plain. I did 
not see any trees or any Mils, just nice green grass and all kinds of 
flowers. Then I found a narrow trail, wMch I followed," said he. 
Some one asked Mm, "How long did you walk after you reached the 
great plain?" He answered, "Almost fifteen days." Then the man 
continued, "I did not see the end of the great plain; andwhenlcame 
to the center, I saw smoke ascending a httle distance ahead. There- 
fore I walked as qmckl}" as I could. Soon I arrived at the edge of a 
large valley; and when I looked down, I saw a hut in the bottom, 
from wMch smoke ascended. I went down, following the same narrow 
trail; and I went down the Mil quickl}-, carrying my rifle on my 
shoulder. When I came to the bottom of the valley, I went toward 
the hut. I looked in secretly, and a large man was lymg there by the 
side of the fire, with Ms back against the fire. He said to me, 'Come 
in, sir, for I have seen you struggMig along the trail.' So I went in 
quietly, and sat down on one side of the fire, with my rifle in front 
of me. Then the great man sat up, looked at me with Ms large 
rough face, and I was afraid of Mm. He asked if I was not afraid to 
see Mm. Therefore I took courage. Then he asked me if I knew 
him. When I said, 'No,' he continued asking me if I knew the 
story about TxamsEm, and I said, 'Yes.' Then he told me that 
he was TxamsEm. He also showed me a large wound in Ms chest, 
which he received m the house of a cMef named T lEni-nunx, in whose 
carved house he had been shot. I saw two pups asleep near the fire. 


Then the giant told mc that llcavcn had placed him there iu the 
bottom of the deep valley and had given him food. So he did not 
need to go around the conntrj'. He gave me good food to eat; and 
when I had finished, he asked me to go outside. I did as he told me. 
We went out together, and he pointed out the tops of all the mountains 
round about liis hut. AU these mountains were full of all kinds of 
animals — mountain sheep, black bear, and so on. Then he asked 
me again if I wanted to go back to my home, therefore I told Mm 
that I did not know my way. Furthermore, I told liim that I 
thought I could not get home agaua. He smiled, and said, 'It is 
not very far from here. You will reach home tonight. I will give 
you provisions for yoiu' way home.' So I consented to what he said. 
Moreover, he told me that Heaven had given him two dogs. He called 
the two pups, which came out, shook themselves, and became Jiauhau 
cubs. I almost fainted vnth fear, but they went up to where there 
were innmnerable mountain sheep; antl as soon as they had gone, 
behold! a great number of mountain sheep came sUding down the 
mountain. So TxamsEm cut them up, meat and fat. Then he put 
the meat and fat on his staff, and tliis you are eating now; and when 
he gave me the staff, he pointed out to me a narrow trail which comes 
down beliind our house. He stretched out his hand over the plain 
four times, and commanded me not to look beliind if I should hear 
a terrible noise. He said, 'If you look back, danger will befall you, 
and you wiU not get home; but if you look straight ahead, you will 
get home tonight.' After he had given his orders, I went, and ran 
with all my might, the staff in my right hand, and my rifle on my 
left shoulder. Wliile I was running, I heard behind me a terrible 
noise hke rolling thunder, which made me vei'V much afraid, so I 
ran on. Then I heard more terrible noises right behiiid me, and the 
groimd was shaking as though rocks were being rent. I ran on. 
There was more noise, and the ground was quaking, and the noises 
were exceedingly terrible. I was almost out of breath; but before 
the evening I arrived on top of tliis liill above us, and I laid down my 
staff and my rifle. As soon as I reached the liill beliind tliis village, 
I looked back the way I had come, and, behold! I saw many high 
mountains. I was wondering. I thought I was in a dream. Finally 
I came down; and when I saw my sister weeping here, I knew that 
everything was true." 

All his people were glad to see him home again, and his relatives 
welcomed hun, and he kept the staff that TxamsEm had given to 
him, and therefore the people know that TxamsEm is still alive.' 

I My cousin, Henry D. Pierce, met this man last summer. My cousin questioned him, and the man 
said that all the stories which I put down on these pages were known to the people. Many young peoiile 
have gone trying to find TxamsEm, but they can not do it, because he hides In the mountains, so that 
the people can not find him.— Henry W. Tate. 

106 . TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. 31 

2. The Meeting of the Wild Animals' 

A long time ago, when the Tsimshian hved on the upper Skeeua 
River, in Prairie Town, there were many people. They were the 
most clever and the strongest among all the people, and they were 
good hunters, and caught many anunals, going huntmg the whole 
year round. Therefore all the animals were m great distress on 
account of the hunters. 

Therefore the annuals held a meeting. The Grizzly Bear invited 
all the large animals to his house, and said to them, "We are dis- 
tressed, and a calamity has befallen us on account of the huntmg of 
these people, who pursue us into our dens. Therefore it is in my 
mind to ask Him Who Made Us to give us more cold in winter, so that 
no hunter may come and kill us in our dens. Let Him Wlio Made Us 
give to our earth severe cold!" Thus spoke the Grizzly Bear to his 
guests. Then all the large animals agreed to what the chief had 
said, and the Wolf spoke: "I have something to say. Let us invite 
all the small animals, — even such as Porcupine, Beaver, Raccoon, 
Marten, Mink, down to the small animals such as the Mouse, and the 
Insects that move on the earth, — for they might come forth and 
protest against us, and our advice might come to nought!" Thus 
spoke the large Wolf to the large animals in theu- council. 

Therefore on the followmg day the large animals assembled on an 
extensive prairie, and they called all the small animals, down to the 
insects; and all the small animals and the msects assembled and sat 
down on one side of the plain, and the large animals were sittmg on 
the other side of the plain. Panther came, Grizzly Bear, Black 
Bear, Wolf, Elk, Reindeer, Wolverene — all kinds of large animals. 

Then the chief speaker, Grizzly Bear, arose, and said, "Friends, 
I will tell you about my experiences." Thus bespoke to the small 
animals and to the insects. "You know very well how we are 
afflicted by the people who hunt us on mountains and hills, even 
pursumg us into our dens. Therefore, my brothers, we have 
assembled (he meant the large animals). On the previous day I 
called them all, and I told them what I had in my mind. I said, 
'Let us ask Him Wlio Made Us to give to our earth cold winters, 
colder than ever, so that the people who hunt us can not come to 
our dens and kill us and you!' and my brothers agreed. Therefore 
we have called you, and we tell you about our council." Thus 
spoke the Grizzly Bear. Moreover, he said, "Now I will ask you, 
large animals, is this so?" 

Then the Panther spoke, and said, "I fully agree to this wise 
counsel," and all the large animals agreed. Then the Grizzly Bear 

• This story resembles, in the form of the speeches, the story of TxamsEm's war on the South Winrt, 
p. 79, and has been influencetl in form by the KwaklutI tales. The term "He Who Made Us" is presum- 
ably due to Christian-influence.— Notes, pp. 723, 728.— F. B. 


turned to the small animals, who were seated on one side of the 
prairie, and said, "We want to know what you have to say in this 
matter." Then the small animals kept quiet, and did not reply to 
the question. After they had been silent for a while, one of their 
speakers. Porcupine, arose, and said, "Friends, let me say a word or 
two to answer your question. Your counsel is very good for your- 
selves, for you have plenty of warm fur, even for the most severe 
cold, but look down upon these little insects. They have no fur to 
warm themselves in winter; and how can small insects and other 
small animals obtain provisions if you ask for severe cold m whiter 1 
Therefore I say this, don't ask for the greatest cold." Then he 
stopped speaking and sat down. 

Then Grizzly Bear arose, and said, "We will not pay any attention 
to what Porcupine says, for all the large anunals agree." Therefore 
he turned his head toward tlie large animals, and said, "Did you 
agree when we asked for the severest cold on earth?" and all the 
large animals replied, "We all consented. We do not care for what 
Porcupine has said." 

Then the same speaker arose agam, and said, "Now, listen once 
more! I will ask you just one question." Thus spoke Porcupine : 
"How will you obtain plants to eat if you ask for very severe cold? 
And if it is so cold, the roots of all the wild tierries will be withered 
and frozen, and all the plants of the prairie will wither away, owing 
to the frost of winter. How will you be able to get food? You are 
large animals, and you always walk about among the mountains 
wanting something to eat. Now, if your request is granted for 
severe cold every winter, you will die of starvation in spring or in 
summer; but we shall live, for we live on the bark of trees, and our 
smallest persons find their food in the gum of trees, and the smallest 
insects fuid then- food in the earth." 

After he had spoken, Porcupme put his thumb into his mouth and 
bit it off, and said, "Confound it!" and threw his thumb out of his 
mouth to show the large animals how clever he was, and sat down 
again, full of rage. Therefore the hand of the porcupine has only 
four fingers, no thumb. 

All the large animals were speechless, because they wondered at 
the wisdom of Porcupine. Finally Grizzly Bear arose, and said^ 
"It is true what you have said." Thus spoke Grizzly Bear to Porcu- 
pine, and all the large animals chose Porcupine to be their wise man 
and to be the fu-st among all the small animals ; and they all agreed 
that the cold in winter should be as much as it is now. They made 
six months for the whiter and six months for summer. 

Then Porcupine spoke again out of his wisdom, and said, "In 
winter we shall have ice and snow. In spring we shall have showers 
of rain, and the plants shall be green. In summer we shall ha\ e 

108 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

warmer weather, and all the fishes shall go up the rivers. In the 
fall the leaves shall fall; it shall rain, and the rivers and brooks shall 
overflow then- banks. Then all the animals, large and small, and 
those that creep on the ground, shall go into then- dens and hide 
themselves for six months." Thus spoke the wise Porcupine to all 
the animals. Then they all agreed to what Porcupine had proposed. 

They all joyfully went to their own homes. Thus it happens that all 
the wild animals take to their dens in winter, and that all the large 
animals are in their dens in winter. Only Porcupine does not hide 
in a den in winter, but goes about visiting his neighbors, all the dif- 
ferent kinds of anunals that go to theu" dens, large animals as well as 
small ones. 

The large animals refused the advice that Porcupine gave; and 
Porcuphie was full of rage, went to those animals that had slighted 
him, and struck them with the quills of his tail, and the large animals 
were killed by them. Therefore all the animals are afraid of Porcu- 
pine to this day. That is the end. 

3. The Story' of the Porcupine-Hunter* 

There was a great porcupine-himter in one of the Indian villages. 
Every year, early in the fall, he went to hunt porcupines, because they 
were excellent food in those days among the Indians. Every fall he 
killed many and dried their meat and fat; and in winter-time people 
from various villages came to him to buy dried meat from him, 
and he became a very rich man. He had many valleys for his himt- 
ing-ground, and he built a hut in each A'alley to dry meat and tallow. 
He had four valleys as his himting-ground. Every year he went to 
his first camp; and after he had killed all the porcupines there, he 
went to the next camp; and when he had killed all there, he went to 
another camp; and so on. He made a good club of yew wood with 
which to club porcupines after smoking them out of their dens; and 
when they ran out, he clubbed them and slew them. 

Therefore aU the porcupines were in distress on account of this man. 
One year this hmiter started earher than other years. He went to 
camp in his four valleys, and obtained a great number of porcupines. 
Wlien he had fLUed three of his huts, he wi-nt to his last hunting-groimd ; 
and as soon as he arrived there, he went out alone to look over the 
large rock above his hut; and when he arrived there, he saw a large 
porcupine of brown color going aroimd the foot of a large spruce tree 
which stood in front of the rock. He ran after it, and, behokl! 
there was a large door opened for him, and a large fire was burning 
in the center of a large house. He was invited in; so he entered, 
and they spread a mat on one side of the fire; and a great chief was 
there, seated in the rear of his house. He ordered his yovmg men, and 
said, "Run around the village and invite all the women to my house, 

' Notes, p. 723. 


that I may dance and welcome my guest!" So they went. When 
all the women were in, the Porcupme arose and began to dance ; and 
the song-leader began to sing, "Pronoimce my name, pronounce my 
name! Strike, strike!" 

Repeat many times. 

^g =EJ=fe3;Ffe^ fe Lr^.:r.L3^ ^^ 

Aitgul wai - ya, aitgul wai - ya, yetsl yetsl. 

Porcupine ran aroimd his own large fire; and after he had sung, he 
stood in front of his guest, and said to him, "Pronomice my name, 
brother! What is my name?" Thus he said, while he stood in 
front of him. Then the hunter said, "Your name is Little Porcu- 
pine." — "Yes, my name is that," said Chief Porcupine, and stnick 
the himter's face with his spiny tail. 

Then they began to sing again, and Oiief Porcupine danced once 
more, while the hmiter's face was full of porcupine quills. At the 
end of the song the chief stopped in front of the lumter, and said, 
"Now, brother, what is my name?" The hunter said, "Your name 
is Little L^gly Porcupine. " Again the chief stiiick the hmiter's face 
with his spmy tail, and said, "That is my name. " 

They sang again, and Chief Porcupine ran around the fire, while 
his attendants kept on singing. Again he stopped in front of the 
himter, and said, "What is my name, brother?" The man said, 
"Your name is Little Btirnt One. " Again the chief struck him with 
his spiny tail, saying, "Yes, that is my name," and the hunter's face 
was fuU of porcupine quills. It was swoUcn so that he coidd hardly 
see oiit of his eyes. 

Again Chief Porcupine ran aroimd the fire while they were singing, 
and again he stopped in front of tlu^ himter, and asked, "^Tiat is my 
name, brother?" Then the poor hunter said, "Your name is Little 
Lean Fellow." — "Yes, that is my name," said Porcupine, and 
struck the himter's face with his spiny tail. 

He ran aroimd again, and his attendants kept on singing, for tliis 
was the last chance for the man's hfe. Then somebody touched him 
softly. It was the Mouse Woman. She asked him, "Do you know 
who has pimished you?" The poor bhnd hmiter said, "No." — "It 
is the chief of the Porcupines," said Mouse Woman, "because you 
killed so many in years past." The Mouse Woman was speaking 
to him while Porcupine was sijiging. "Now, this is the last time. 
At the end of the song the Porcupines will strike you all over your 
body with their spiiay tails if you do not give the right answer to the 
chief's question. His name is Sea Otter On Green Mountam. " 

While the Mouse Woman was still talking to him, the singing 
ceased, and all the Porcupines were ready to rush on him. Then the 
chief stopped in front of him, and said, "Now, what is my name. 

110 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

dear man?" Then tln' ])(>(ir man answered in a low voice, "Yonr 
name is Sea Otter On Green Moimtain. " 

Then Chief Porcupine ordered his people to wash the face of the 
poor man; and all the Porcupines worked at his face, and took out the 
green contents of the stomach of the first wife of Chief Porcupme, 
and they iiibbed it on the face of the hmiter, for it was full of qiiills. 
Then the quills came out again by themselves; and they took the 
contents of the stomach of the second wife of Chief Porcupine and 
rubbed it on his face, and more quiUs came out, and the man's face be- 
came better than it had been before. Then the contents of the stomach 
of the third wife was rubbed on his face, and the swelling on his face 
became less, the quills became loose and fell out. Then the contents 
of the stomach of the fourth wife was rubbed on his face, and all the 
quills came out. Not a single one remained in the face of the himter. 

Chief Porcupine had been chewing new* green leaves. Then he 
spat in his hands and rubbed the face of the man, whose face became as 
beautifid as it had been when he w^as a boy. Then Chief Porcupine 
ordered his attendants to give food to the hunter. Therefore they 
brought fat moimtain-sheep meat and many different kinds of food, 
and fruits of all kinds ; and when the hunter felt satisfied after he had 
eaten, the chief said to him,, "I %vill be your friend. My people are 
fuU of sorrow^ because you have slain great numbei-s of them, so I 
have taken you mto my house to kiU you right here; but since you 
have pronoimced my chief's name rightly, I wih spare your life. 
Now, I will ask you kindly not to smoke the porcupines out of their 
dens; and if you need porcupme meat, do not kill so many of them; 
and when you have killed one or more, dry their meat in a good fire 
and eat them before wdnter sets in, so that my people may not have 
any sickness m ^\^nter, and cast their bones into the fii-e; and do not 
let your young people eat the heads of yoimg porcupines, lest they 
become forgetful." 

Therefore the Indians know how to use the contents of the stomach 
of the porcupme when porcupine quills stick in the bodies of our people. 

Then the himter went out from that place to his own hut, where 
his wife was sitting weeping because her husband had been away for 
many days. While the woman was sitting there, she heard a noise 
at the door. She turned her face, and saw her husband come in. 
She was surprised, and questioned him, and the hmiter told her that 
he had been to the house of Chief Porcupine. Then they moved and 
went home. They took all the porcupine meat from the other camps ; 
and when he had taken them all home, he invited the people to his 
house, and told them what had happened and how he had been 
punished in the house of CTiief Porcupine. 

Therefore the people nowadays know that the Porcupine is 
ti'oublcd by the people. Porcupine is an animal that knows how to 
sing. Porcupines know every tune in existence. 

boas] tsimshian myths 111 

4. The Story of Grizzly Beab and Beaver^ 

There was a great lake close to Skeena River, where many beavers 
built their houses, because it was deep water and a safe hiding-place 
and good shelter for them in winter-time. There were many old 
houses, and new ones as well. They thought that their dangerous 
enemies could not reach them. 

One day the beavers thought there was no danger near them. 
Therefore they left their houses and went out for fresh air, and they 
covered the melting ice. It was early in spring when the animals 
awoke from their winter sleep, and came out of their dens. The 
Grizzly Bear had just come out from his winter sleep, and as soon 
as he came out he saw many beavere that covered the ice. He went 
there secretly, fell on them, and kdUed many of them. Some of them 
escaped to their houses in the lake; but the great Grizzly Bear hunted 
them to then- houses, and slew many of them in their houses, and 
they were very sad. The great Grizzly Bear, however, was happy 
because he had much food, and the poor weak beavers were much 
distressed. He thought that these beavere would last him through 
the summer, and finaUj^ only one beaver escaped from his paws. 

This poor Beaver went away down into the water, and the great 
Grizzly Bear was eating the beaver meat ; and when he had enough, 
he lay down and slept among the slain beavei-s. 

The poor lonely Beaver hid in the deep water and thought about 
her great enemy. Then she plamied to make false ground on one 
side of the lake. So she took wet soft moss and put it at the butt 
end of a fallen tree which stretched over the water at one side of the 
great lake. She did so in the night, for she was afraid to work in the 
daytime. She made it look like dry land around the old fallen tree. 
At the end of the summer the salmon were in the creeks. Now, the 
great Grizzly Bear's beaver meat was all gone, and the great dreadful 
thing was very hungiy. He was walking around the lake, searching 
for something to eat; and he went to the brooks and caught many 
sahnon, which were to serve as his food in winter. 

One day as he went about very hungry, walking about proudly, for 
he was stronger than any other animal, he stood there, and saw a poor 
weak Beaver sitting at the end of a fallen tree. She was sitting there 
very lonely. When the proud animal saw her sitting there, he asked 
with his proud voice, "What are you doing there, poor animal?" 
Thus said the proud Grizzly Bear when he saw her sitting on the end 
of an old log. The Beaver said, ' ' Grizzly Bear shall cUe ! ' ' Then the 
Grizzly Bear became angi-y, and said, "Did you say I shall die?" 
but she did not even answer him. He wsilked down to and fro on the 
dry land at the foot of the fallen tree, on the end of which the poor 

' Notes, p. 723. 



[BTH. ANN. 31 

little Beaver was sitting. The Beaver said a<;ain, "The o^-eat Grizzly 
Bear shall die!" — "Yes/' said the great monster, "I will kill you 
right there. Don't nin away! I wiU tear you right now!" and he 
walked toward the Beaver that was sitting there. He was walking 
along the log proudly, and said, "Don't run away! I wiU devour 
you!" but the brave Beaver rephed, "Great Grizzly Bear shall die!" 
Then the proud Grizzly Bear flew into a rage; but the poor Beaver 
remained sitting there, and then swam out into the water. Then 
she looked back at the Grizzly Bear, and said, "Grizzly Bear shall 
die!" At once the Grizzly Bear jumped on the Beaver, who dived 
under the fallen tree where she had made the false ground in order 
to entrap the great Grizzly Bear, and the great monster struggled in 
the slough that the Beaver had made. Then the Beaver came out 
on the sm"face and cUmbed on the log where she had been sitting 
before, and looked at the great Grizzly Bear who was struggling there. 
She said once more, "Grizzly Bear shall die!" The Grizzly Bear 
became tired out in the slough, and groaned in despair. He tried 
with all Ms might to get away, but he could not, because the soft 
mud and moss held him. He tried to swmi, but he could not do it. 
When he was about to die, he said to the Beaver, "Come and help 
me!" and the Beaver said again, "Grizzly Bear shall die !" Now, the 
great animal howled and shouted and moaned and died there in 
despair. He was drowned in the slough, because he had no pity on 
the weak animals, and tried to devour all the weak animals. He 
thought there was no one besides himself. Yet the weak animal was 
stronger than he in wisdom, and the weak animal kill<>d him. He 
was howling and crying, — he who had slain all the poor Beavers, — 
but no Beavers were crying or moaning when the great Grizzly Bear 
destroyed them. Therefore let not the strong oppress the poor or 
weak, for the weak shall have the victory over the mighty. This is 
the end. 

6. Story of the Porcupine ' 

(Printed in Boas 13, pp. 236-241.) 

The tune of the song recorded on p. 238, as given by Mr. Tate, is 
printed here. It has not been possible to correlate words and tune. 




<> • 








1 __l J 

— \-m—4 

e) • 

-1 : 


W ' 

J — ^ — P 


'— <sl— 






' Notes, x>. I'iA. 


6. Beaver and PoRcuprNE ' 

(Printed in Boas 13, pp. 226-235.) 

7. Story of the Deluge ^ 

(Printed in Boas 13, pp. 143-253.) 

8. Sun and Moon ^ 

(Translated from Boas 10.) 

It was in the beginning, before anything that lives in our world was 
created There was only the chief in heaven. There was no light in 
heaven. There were only emptiness and darkness. 

The chief had two sons and one daughter. His people were numer- 
ous. Indeed, they were the trilje of the cliief. 

These were the names of his thi-ee cliildren. The name of the eldest 
one was Walking About Early; the name of the second, The One Who 
Walks All Over The Skj-. The name of the gii'l was Support Of Sun. 
They were very strong. The younger boy was wiser and abler than 
the elder one. Therefore one day he was sad, and he pondered why 
darkness was continuing all the time. Therefore one day he spoke 
to his sister, "Let \is go and get pitch wood!" They went and they 
cut very good pitch wood. They made a rmg of a slender cedar 
twig, and measured it according to the size of a face. Then they tied 
pitch wood all round it, so that it looked like a mask. After they had 
finished, thej^ told their sister, who was accompamnng them whUe 
they were getting pitch wood, not to tell the people about what they 
were domg. Then The One Who Walks All Over The Sky went to 
where the Sun rises and showed himself to the people. The pitch 
wood that was tied around his face was burning. 

Suddenly the people saw the great light rising in the east. They 
were glad when they saw the hght. Then he ran in full sight across 
the sky. He came from the east and went westward. He was carry- 
ing the pitch inask. That is the reason why he was naming quickly, 
because else the pitch wood would have been burned up. Therefore 
he was rmming quickly across the sky. Then the chief's tribe assem- 
bled. They sat down together to hold a council, and said, "We are 
glad because your child has given us light, but he is rumiing too 
quickly. He ought to go a httle more slowly, so that we may enjoy the 
Ught for a longer time." Therefore the chief told his son what the 
people had said. His son replied, asking hmi what he should do, 
since the pitch wood would burn before he could reach the west. 
Therefore he went that way every day. 

The people assembled again and held a council, and requested him 
to go slowly along the sky. That is what they asked of him; and 

1 Notes, p. 724. « Notes, p. 727. ^ 

506.33°— 31 ETH— 16 8 


therefore his sister said, ' ' I will hold hun when he is running along the 

Then the people blessed the woman, and the father also blessed his 
daughter. Next time when The One Who Walks All Over The Sky 
started on his journey, Siipport Of Sun started too. She went south- 
ward. Her brother rose in the east, and then the gu-1 turned back 
and ran to meet her brother. 

The woman said, "Wait for me until I catch up with you! " She 
ran as fast as she could, and held her brother in the middle of the sky. 
For this reason the Sun stops for a little while in the middle of the sky. 

The woman stood fu'm, holding her brother. Therefore we see the 
Sun stopping for a little while in the middle of the sky. 

Then the people saw the Sim stopping for a little wliile in the miiddle 
of the sky, and they shouted for joy. FuU of joy, they said, "Sup- 
port Of Sim makes the Sun stop! Haii!" and the whole crowd was 
full of joy. 

Suddenly the chief began to scold his son, blaming his elder son 
because he was not as skillful as his younger brother. Then the elder 
one lay down prone, crying on account of what his fa'ther said to 
him. "When his brother, the Sun, came back, he lay dowm, for he was 
tired. Walking About Eai'ly spoke to liis little slave when everybody 
was asleep, when all the h(iuse fellows of his father were asleep. After 
he had spoken, he rubbed charcoal over one side of his face, and said, 
"When you see that I rise in the east," thus he spoke to his slave, 
' ' jump up and shout, ' Hurrah ! he has arisen ! ' That is what you are 
to say." 

Then he left. The One Who Walks All Over The Sky slept lUve one 
dead, because he was very tired. He allowed his shinmg face to shed 
light out of the smoke hole. Then Walking About Early arose in the 
east. That is where he arose. Then the little slave jiunped up and 
shouted, "Hurrah! he has arisen!" 

Several people asked lum, "\Miy do you make such a noise, bad 
slave ?" but his joy was only increasmg. He jumped up, and pouited 
out where the Moon was rising. Then suddenly the people looked up. 
Behold! the Moon had risen. Then all the people shouted for joy, 
and shouted, ' ' Hurrah ! ' ' 

After some time aU the different kinds of animals assembled to hold 
a council. They agi-eed that the Sun should walk about every day, 
that he should be the light of day, and that ho should make everything 
grow; and they also agreed in regard to the Moon. 

At that time thej' held a gi-eat council. All kinds of animals assem- 
bled. Dogs w^ere there also. The Dogs, on then- part, were wiser than 
all the other animals. Therefore they spoke firet in the great coimcU 
of the animals. The -wise Dogs said, "The Moon shall rise forty days." 


Then till the uaiiniils were silent. Tlie Dogs sat down together and 
talked secretly, and thought about what they had said. The wisest 
one among them was still standing. He was counting his fingers, and 
reckoned forty days to each month. 

^Yhile he was doing so, a man struck the thumb of the wise one — it 
was Porcupine who struck the Dog's thumb — and said, "Who can live 
if there are forty days each month tlu-oughout the year ? There shall 
be only thirty days each month. ' ' And all the animals agreed with him . 

They were gla'd. Therefore all the annuals said, "We will follow 
the advice of Porciipine." Therefore what he had said happened; 
and therefore each month has thirty days, and there are twelvemonths 
each year. 

Then all the animals agreed that the Dogs should be driven away; 
and for tins reason the Dog hates the Porcupine, and therefore the 
Dog hates all the animals of the woods; but the Dog hates the Por- 
cupme most of all, because Porcupine knocked down Dog's thumb 
^\-ith his spiny tail when tliey were seated together m council; and 
indeed Porcupme took the position of the wise Dog away from him 
when he was standing among the animals. Therefore the Dog hates 
the Porcupine up to this day, and for that reason the Dog's thumb 
stands opposite liis other fingers. The Dog had sLx fingers. On 
account of what happened then, there are only twelve months. 

At that time Porcupine made the days as we have them now — 
thirty to each month. AJl the people enjoy the light in heaven. 
Before that, our world was always dark. 

At that time the animals named every mouth wliile they were 
seated together m council. They began the count -vdth the month — 

Between October and November, " Falling- Leaf Month." 

Between November and December, "Taboo Montli." 

Between December and January, ''The Intervening Month." 

Between January and February, "Spring-Salmon Month." 

Between February and March, "Mouth ^^^^en Olachen I.'f Eaten." 

Between M;irch and April, "TMien Olachen Is Cooked." 

Between .\pril and May, (?) 

Between May and June, "Egg Month." 

Between June and Jul}', "Salmon Month." 

Between July and August, " 11 ump back-Salmon Month." 

Between August and September, ('?) 

Between September and October, "Spinning-Tup Month." 

.Vnd they also divided the year into four seasons — spiing, summer, 
uutunm, and winter. 

When Tlie One Who Walks All Over The Sky was asleep, sparks 
flew out of his mouth. Those are the stars; and at night the moon 
receives its light from the shining face of the Sun, who is asleep 
when lie is tired aiul when liis light shoots out of the smoke hole 

116 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. Asx. 31 

Sometimes when the Sun is glad he adorns himself. He takes 
Iiis sister's red ocher to paint his face. Then tlie people know what 
kind of weather it is going to be on the following da3^ Wlien the 
people see the red sky in tlie evemiig, they know that it will be good 
weather the following day; and when they see the red sky in the 
morning, they know that the weather is going to be bad the whole 
day. That is what the people say. 

The girl, on her part, was cast down. Therefore one day she, on 
lier part, went westward. She wrung out her garments and struck 
the water with them. Then she returned. The ciiief, her father, 
asked her, "Whence did you come, child?" Thus spoke her father, 
the chief, to the girl. 

Then the girl said, "I just went westward." She was standing 
near her father's great fire, warming herseK. She wore her gar- 
ments, and shook the water out of her garments upon her father's 
fu-e. Then suddenly a fog came out of the house, and the whole tribe 
enjoyed the fog. 

The people were refreshed, because it was very hot, and they 
agreed that the girl had refreshed them. That is where fog comes 
from nowadays; it comes from the west. Therefore the chief, the 
father, was glad when he saw that liis children were wise. He gave 
to his eldest son the duty to watch that people may know the year. 
To the next one. The One Wlio Walks AU Over The Sky, he gave the 
duty to make all good tilings, such as fruit, appear on the earth, 
and to make evervthing plentiful; and he blessctl his daughter be- 
cause she refreshed witli cool fog those who were tired. That is the 

9. Am' ALA ' (Very' Dirty) ' 

Once upon a time there was a great chief who built his house on a 
sandy beach. Ho had four nephews. Every morning in winter the 
chief called his four nephews and sent them to get fuel. The young 
men also built a new large house. WTien the north wind blew hard, 
and when it was very cold, so that the water of the soa almost froze, 
the uncle would say, "I want you to be stronger than any one else. 
When you are very strong, I shall invite all the chiefs and then- 
warriors to fight against you. Therefore buOd a large fire. Go 
down to the water, and bathe in the sea. Then I shall come down 
and whip you with a bundle of twigs." After he had fuiished this 
speech, he said, "Will you now go down to bathe ?" 

So the eldest one went out fii-st, went into the ice-cold water, and 
the second and thhd brothers also went ; but the fourth, the youngest, 
would not go. He would lie in the corner of his uncle's house. They 
say that he had never taken ti bath, even once, ever since he was born. 

I The translation of this name is given by Mr, Tate, but is not clear. Am'ala' means "smoke hole." 
— Notes, p. 729.— F. B. 



He arose late every morning and scratched his head; and when his 
tlu-ee brothers came back from then- mornin<j; bath, they hiughed at 
him and gave him the nickname Dirty. 

Every morning when the three princes were bathing in the sea, their 
uncle would go to them while they were in the water and would ^whip 
them with twigs. They were all equally strong. One was not 
stronger than the others. But the youngest one continued to lie in 
the corner of the house, right oji the ground, mthout a bed. He had 
only a ragged deer-skin blanket to wear. When he arose late in the 
morning, steam would arise from the ground where he had lain. 
Therefore his thi-ee brothers thought that he had wet the ground wliile 

The three brothers went bathing all the time, and they became 
stronger than all the other people. Their uncle made a certain law 
for them. He said, "As soon as you come out of the water, go into 
the woods and try to pull out one of the fresh branches of a spruce 
tree." The young men did as their uncle had told them, and tried to 
puU out the branch without any tools. They went every morning 
again and again, but they could not do it. 

He, however, the youngest one. Dirty, would sit in the water at 
midnight in the cold of winter, when the north wind was Ijlowing, and 
before daylight he would come out of the water, and lie down again 
in his bed of ashes in the comer. Therefore he slept vcr\'' late in the 
morning, like a lazy fellow, and his brothers mocked him often because 
he had never gone bathmg once. This young man would not go near 
the fire soon after his bath, but he just wrapped himself in his old 
ragged deer-skin blanket, and the steam rose up from liis bed of ashes 
in the corner, because his body was wet from liis midnight bath; and 
this is the reason why he slept late every morning while his three 
brothers went to take their bath. 

T\lien they all gathered around the large fire, after they had taken 
their bath, they were talking about the branch wliich they were to 
twist and tear out. Then Dirty said, ''I shall go and twist it out 
easily." Thejdaughed and twitted him, and said, " Oh, you miserable 
fellow! You will twist and tear out the branch of the fresh tree! — 
you, who wet your IxkI in the morning when 3'ou are asleep! You will 
certainly be able to pull out the branch, for you are so fuU of du't." 
They made fun of him and pushed liini out of the house. 

The young man went to the bay south of their house, where a 
brook was rumiing down. He was full of sorrow while going up the 
brook. Then he met a young man whose skin shone bright. He 
asked him, "Why are you so sad this morning, my deari" The 
young man answered, "O supernatural one! my thi'ee elder brothers 
make fun of me and laugh at me, and they call me Very Dirty." 
Then the supernatui-al being replied, "What do you wish of me? I 

118 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY I kth. anx. 31 

will grant you youi- wish." Then tho yoiuig man said, " You sec that 
my skin is not clean. I want to be clean, and I want to bo stronger 
than any living being in the country." The supernatural being 
replied, " Go over there and gather the leaves of the supernatural tree 
and bring them to me." So Dirty went to the great valley and tried 
to find the leaves, but he could not do it. He brought leaves of all 
kinds, but the supernatural being re-fused them. Then the super- 
natural being went liimself and brought a bunch of leaves of the 
supernatm'al tree. He said, "Let us go down to that pool yonder!" 
They went, and, behold! there was a good pond, and the supernatural 
being washed Dirty in the pool four times. He washed him with the 
leaves of the supernatural tree, and he became very clean, and was 
a fuie-looking young man, tall, and broad of chest. 

Then the supernatural being said again, " Go down and plunge into 
the pond; and as soon as you come out of it, then you shall tear out that 
young tree on the other side." Tho young man did as he had been 
told. He plimged into the pond and came out agam quickly. He 
ran toward the young spruce tree and pulled it out with its roots. 

The supernatural being asked him, "Are you now strong enough?" 
He rephed, "No, I want greater strength." The supernatural bemg 
said agam, " Go down and ])lunge into the water." So ho wont to the 
pond and plunged into the water. He came out of the pond, and pulled 
out a spruce tree a httle larger than the first one, with the roots. 
Again he was asked, "Is tliis enough?" but he replied, "No, I want 
more." Therefore he sent him again to the pond, and on coming 
out he pulled out a spruce tree with its roots. Again the supeniatiu-al 
bemg asked him, "Are you now strong enough?" but he replied, 
"I want more." So he sent liim into tho pond again; and when he 
came out of the water, he pulled out a large tree with its roots. Then 
the supernatural bemg asked liim, "Are you now satisfied?" The 
man said, " Let me do it once more ! " but the supernatural bemg said, 
"No, now it is enough." Then he vanished from his side. 

So the young man went back; and l)ofore he came into his uncle's 
house, he came to the tree the branch of winch his brothers had been 
trymg to pull out every morning. He took hold of it, twisted it, and 
pulled it out very easily. Thou he put tho branch back after he had 
puUod it out. He went down to his uncle's house, and the three 
brothers made fun of him and laughed at him, but he did not answer 
them at all. 

Now, tho appointed day had come, and the cliief, the uncle of the 
young men, invited all the chiefs and their strong men to fight against 
the three brothers who liad made themselves strong; and when all 
the guests were in the house, the chief said to his tkree nephews, "Go 
into the woods and bring down some fuel, for we have no wood to 


mako a fire for these chiefs who are coming to my house." Therefore 
they went and broke young rotten red-cedar trees, and took them 
home to make a fire with. Dirty went and pulled out a spruce tree 
with its roots, and cari-ied it on his shoulders, and brought it into his 
uncle's house. There he broke it up and put it on the fire. Then 
his three brothers were ashamed because he was stronger than they. 

Now, the day had come when the waiTiors were to fight against the 
brothers. One day the eldest brother made himself ready to fight 
with one of the warriors, and all the chiefs and tribes assembled in the 
house of the chief on the sandy shore, and they were all sitting there 
quietly. Then one of the G'it-qxa'la stepped forward to fight against 
the eldest l^rother. They joined and fought, trying to tlu'ow each 
other. They fought a long time, and at last the man from G'it-qxa'la 
threw the eldest brother. He was hurt, and lay there, his whole 
l)ody acliing. Then tlie G'it-qxa'la -tribe shouted for joy. 

Then the second brother stepped forth, and said, "^Vlio is the 
strongest man ? Let him come out in front of his people, and I will 
fight with him!" Then a man of the tribe of G"i-spa-x-la'°ts came 
out. They joined and fought, as the two others had done before, 
and the man of the tribe G"i-spa-x-ia.'°ts vanquished the second brother, 
who was bruised all over his body and full of pain. 

Then the third brother stepped forth while the tribe of G'i-spa-x- 
l^-'ofswas shouting for joy. Tlie third brother said, "Who will come 
and fight with me?" Then a man of the tri])e of G'it-dzl'°s stepped 
forwartl to fight against the third brother. They joined, and the 
fhii'd brother fell, overpowered by his adversary. His skull was 
broken, and he died there. Then all the people shouted like thunder. 

Now, the chief, the uncle of the thi-ee men, was ashamed. He 
said to Dirty, "Now, Dirty, where are you?" He repUed, "Here I 
am, uncle! What do you wish?" His uncle said, "Step forward 
and figlit agamst the men who beat your three brothers!" Then he 
stepped forward, and said, "Now, you three men, come forth and 
fight me, all together!" So the three strong men came forth to 
fight with him. The three men attacked him at the same time; 
and Dirty squeezed their heads, and broke them like eggshells, and 
they all died there. Their skulls were In'oken. Therefore the chief's 
tribe shouted for joy. 

Then all the tribes made war against him; but he won a great 
victory over them that day, and a great many people were killed 
by one man. His uncle had to pay tliem with his goods — costly 
coppers, slaves, large canoes, elk skins, and other kinds of property. 
Thus his uncle became poor. 

Therefore the people moved away and deserted the chief's nephew 
Dirty, and one slave who remained with him. They lived in his imcle's 

120 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. anx. 31 

house. The slave was very skiUful in shooting wild ducks with his 
arrows, and Dirty liked to eat the wild ducks. The slave gathered the 
oil of the wild ducks in a root basket. 

Now, aU the animals heard that this young man was the strongest 
person that ever Hved. Therefore all the strongest animals came to 
his door and called him out to fight with them. First came the 
Black Bear. Dhty came out and killed the Black Bear as one Idlls 
mice. Next came a Sea Lion and stood at his door. He called Dirty 
out to fight with him. The young man came out and killed him as 
one kills mice. Next the Grizzly Bear came and stood at his door. 
He called Dirty out to fight with him, and he came out and killed 
him as one kills mice. Then the Xa°t came. (A xd°l is a very 
strong and large animal. He is stronger than all the other animals 
in this country. Sometimes he will kill many grizzly bears at one 
time.) The Xa°l also came and stood at the door of Dirty's house, 
and called Dirty out to come and fight with him. So he came out, 
fought with him, and killed him. Thus all the strongest animals 
came to hun, and he killed them all as one kills young mice. 

Then Dirty said to his slave, "When you see that my back is 
bent, then come and rub it with the oil of wild ducks that you have 
gathered in your root basket." 

When all the animals had failed, the strong trees came. First the 
Crabapple Tree came to his door and called him out to fight with 
him. He came out and puUod it out witli the roots as one plucks 
out gi'ass; and thus all the strongest and greatest trees came. He 
pulled them out and broke them to pieces. 

When all the trees had failed, tlie strong birds came and tried to 
beat hun. First the Thunderbird came and stood at his door, and 
called Dirty out to fight with him; and when Dirty came out, he 
threw his bolts of lightning, but Dirty took liold of him and killed 
him as one kiUs a fly; and thus all the strongest birds came. 

Now, when all the living beings had come. Dirty had a short rest. 
Next morning a long, broad Mountain stood at his door and called 
him out; and when Dirty came out, the large Mountain said to him, 
"I am the last one of your enemies. If I throw you down, you will 
die; but if you tlirow me down, I shall die. Then you shall take my 
life away from me, and you shall live as long as the world stands." 
After the Mountain had spoken, they joined. Now, Dirty's back 
became bent, for the Mountain was leaning on him; and Dirty's slave 
came to him with the root basket Idled with oil of wild ducks, and the 
slave rubbed it over his back. This strengthened him, and Dirty threw 
the high Mountain and broke it to pieces. It became the sandbar with 
large rocks at the beach of Sandy Shore. Thus Dirty took the 
Mountain's life. 


Thus all his enemies were destroyed by this powerful man, and his 
fame spread all over the world, and he now rested from his fights; 
for his victory was very gi'i^at, and he had more power than he had 
ever had before, for the Mountain gave lum his power. 

One morning very early the slave ran into the house and told him 
that a canoe had come, with two people in it. Dirty was lying down 
by the fii'eside. The two men came in and said, "Great chief, our 
poor sick chief wants you to come. He wants to see you before he 
dies. Therefore he sent us to you." Then Dirty arose, and he and 
his slave made ready to go with the two men who had come to him. 
They went down to the canoe together. The two men paddled, and 
the canoe went quickly toward the southwest. After they had 
passed over the large sea, they saw a small island in front of them; 
and when they came nearer and nearer, the island appeared to be 
large; and there was a large town on the island, with many houses 
and many people. 

As soon as they arrived on the beach, crowds of people came down 
to meet them. Dirty went ashore, and the men guided him and the 
slave to the chief's house. As soon as he came in, behold! a chief 
lay there in the rear of the house. He was very ill. The pole sup- 
porting om- world was standing on his chest; and the world had 
always been turning on his chest ever since the world began, all 
tlirough the ages. Xow, he was sick, and therefore he sent for Dirty 
to take liis place. He spoke to Dirty: "The reason why I sent for 
you is that you shall lie down here and take care of the world. I 
have heard that you are a mighty man. I know that you have 
double strength — one which you obtained from a supernatural 
being, the other which you obtained from the strong mountain. 
Lie down by my side! I wiU put tliis pole-of-the- world on your chest." 

Before Dirty lay down by his side, he said to his slave, " I will give 
part of my life to you. Sit down by my side! You shall always 
live with me, and you shall rub my back with the oil of wild ducks 
once a year." So the slave sat down there, and Dirty lay down. 
Then the chief took the polo off from his chest and put it on Dirty's 
chest, and the cliief and all his people left the town. 

Dirty is still holding the world on his chest, and his slave is also 
there. The oU of wild ducks is nearly gone now; and as soon as 
Dirty dies, the world will (-ome to an end. 

]0. The Four Great Chiefs of the Winds' 

There are four great chiefs in the iowc corners of the world. The 
North Wmd is the first of all; the South Wind, the second; the East 
Wind, the tliird; and the West Wind, the fourth. The three chiefs 

' .Sotes, p. 732. 

122 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

hate the North Wind, because the North Wind makes the world pale 
in winter. The South Wind wants the world to be always green, as 
in spring; and East Wind wants the same as South Wind; and also 
West Wind wishes for the same. 

Therefore South Wind made war against North Wind. South 
Wind invited his neiglibors East Wind and West Wind. They 
assembled, and the strong South Wind wont first, and a strong 
southeasterly gale blew very hard. Then the East Wmd also blew 
very hard, and they joined in battle. 

Finally North Wind was vancjuished, and the three Winds won the 
victory over North Wind. Therefore North Wind promised that the 
world should be green for six months, but South Wind would not 
consent to it. His two neighbors, however, compelled him to do so. 
Therefore South Wind agreed, and they made a law that the South 
Wind should sometimes blow in winter with ram, wliile the North 
Wind makes everything cold and frozen; and in spring the three 
Winds should play, in order to melt the frozen ground ; and in summer 
the West Wind was to l)low softly over the land and comfort the pale 
world with its lovely breezes. 

Now, when they made this law, the gentle Wind said, "Let the 
whole world have peace once or twice a year — once before autumn, 
and once before spring." They all agreed to these words and went 
to their homes. 

South Wind had five children — four boys and one girl. The 
names of these children were Proud Rain- Wind (Ksdij^axl-haiwas), 
and the next one Excrement Face ( Y liin-dzaxl), and the third one Rain 
Under The Knee (Lu-mEkmi'gum tslEm-sait), and the fourth one 
Gomg Behind The Mountains (Gilhak-gask), and the girl's name was 
Drops Of A Spring Of Water (Ksa-lu°wal-gwa'nEks) . 

West Wind had two children. His elder son's name was Evening 
Clouds (SEsa'ksgum sa° tgi-ya'^sat), and his younger son's name 
was Red Evening Clouds (Bi'ltsEgum lawugumks). 

East Wind had two children. His elder son's name was Clouds 
Falhng On The Mountain Top (Hapka'bEks a na-ga-ts !uwan-sganl'st), 
and his younger son's name was Red Morning Clouds (Bl'ltsEgum 

North Wind's wife had two cliildren who were twins — the one 
named Frozen (Gwatk-sa), the other named Freezer (Ksat). 

One of th(> sons of North Wind wanted to marry South Wind's 
daughter, but South Wind's sons did not want to let their only sister 
marry him. The following year North Wind came to South Wmd 
and asked for his daughter for his other son, who wanted to marry 
Drojjs Of A Spring Of Water. Then South Wind consented, and let 
him have her to be his wife. Chief North Wind invited all the difi'er- 
ent Winds; and when the guests were all in his house. South Wintl 


brought his daughter, with very strong winds and heavy rains. 
Now, the prince and the princess were married; and after the celebra- 
tion was over. South Wind went back from the north to his o\\'n 
country, with strong winds and rain. 

The 3'oung princess lived with her husband in tlie house of her 
father-in-law and with her sister-in-law. She was always with her 
wherever she went. Xow the winter months had come on, and the 
north wind blew hard, and there was ice on all the rivers, lakes, and 
ponds. Everything was frozen. 

North Wind's people said that it was a very warm season, but the 
daughter of South Wind felt very cold every day. She was sitting 
in the cold icy house without a fire, cr>ang, while the people in the 
house felt quite wann. At night, when she was in bed with her 
husband, she was almost frozen. 

One day she went out as usual, and sat down on the beach at 
high-water mark. Then she took her sahnon-knife, took a piece of 
yellow-cedar wood, and carved it in the shape of a duck. "When she 
had finished it, she said to her little wedge, "Go to my father's 
country and tell them what is happening to me in this far country!" 
Then the wooden wedge became a wild duck. 

Chief South Wind and his chieftainess were sitting in front of their 
house, and one morning they saw a duck diving in the water. The 
Duck said, "Since new moon yotir daughter has been cast out by 
Frozen." The duck dived again, came up, and repeated the same, 
"Smce new moon your daughter has been cast out by Frozen." 

Then South Wind said to his four sons, " My sons, go north and 
bring back your sister from the house of Chief North Wind ! " There- 
fore Proud Rain- Wind wi'ut northward through the air in the form 
of a large cloud ; but before he had gone halfway a strong north wind 
began to blow, and all the clouds were driven away. The sister was 
sitting out there, and saw her brother coming. She cried aloud 
when he was driven away. 

Again Chief South Wind said, "Now, you go, my second son!" 
Then Excrement Face went northward. Then the princess saw a 
black cloud come toward her. When the black cloud had come half- 
way, the north \vind began to blow very hard, and drove it away. 
Then the princess cried bitterl}', and said, "Oh, my brother Excre- 
ment Face has been driven away!" 

Now Chief South Wind said to his thu-d son, "Go up there, my 
son Rain Under The Knee!" He went; and showers of rain came, 
and soon he had passed more than half the distance. The north 
wind blew very hard, and the rain froze and he was driven away. 
Then the princess cried more bitterly, and said, as before, "Oh, mj' 
brother Rain Under The Knee has been diivea awav!" 

124 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ans. 31 

Then the father said to his last sou, "Go north, my sou Going 
Behind Mountains, and bring back your sister!" At midnight 
Going Behind Mountains went swiftly northward in the shape of a 
cloud, sharp at each end. Then the north wind began to blow harder 
and harder, but the cloud Going Behind Mountains was not driven 
away. Its sharp ends passed all the mountains and slowly went 
northward. The princess was crying, fearing that her last brother 
might be driven away as the others had been, for she knew that she 
would die there on the ice if he should not succeed. 

Now, the Uttle cloud stopped a while and went on slowly. At last 
it reached the village of North Wind and gained a great victory on 
that clay. Therefore the north wind ceased to blow. Then all the 
brothers came with heavy rain, and all the ice was melted away, and 
the house of North Wind was full of water from the heavy rain ; and 
the sister-in-law of the princess was floating about in the house, 
saying, "Take me with you, sister-in-law, lest I perish in this cold 
water!" and the princess took the floating piece of ice and put it on 
her right leg. Therefore women's legs are cold up to this day. 

Now, when the ice was nearly melted. Chief North Wind said to 
the four princes, " Take away your sister, and come no more to my 

Then the four brothers said, "We shall take away from you two 
months, and you shall have only four months." Chief North Wind 
did not reply. The four brothers continued, "If you do not agree 
to this, we shall kill you right now." 

Therefore North Wind agreed to what they said. Therefore the 
winter lasts four months, and the tliree chiefs have among them 
eight months. 

Now, the four brothers and their sister went to their own country ; 
and when they arrived at their father's house, the father was very 
glad to see his daughter l)ack again. Therefore he invited the ntdgh- 
boring Winds with their children. He told them of the hard life that 
his daughter had led when she lived in the house of North Wind. 
He continued, "She was in such distress that I had to send my sons 
to take her back, and my sons fought for many days with the people 
of North Wind. At last my sons won the victory over them. The 
reason why I sent my sons was to take away from North Wind two 
months, and let him keep only four months." 

West Wind said, " Let each of us have three months! North Wind 
shall have only three mouths in winter. South Wind shall liave 
three months in the fall, I will have three months in summer, and 
East Wind shall have tlu-ee months in spring." Then the three 
chiefs agreed. Therefor(> the seasons have three months tliroughout 
the year. The new law they made was better than tlae iirst. 


The chiefs went up to North Wunl ami told him so, and lie also 

agreed, and therefore this law among the winds continues up to this 


1 1 . The vStory of Xai-q ' 

In early times, when the people wore multiplying, and lived in 
the large towni on the plains on the upper course of Skeena Eiyer 
which we call now Prairie Town — that is, where the village of our 
forefathers used to be — the people used to play the greater part of 
the night in the open air. The young men would play all kinds of 
games, and they went out night after night to the open space on the 
level ground beliind their houses. There were a great many people, 
and there was a crowd of young men, of women, and of children. 
Therefore they made much noise when they were on their playground 
mitil late in the night. 

One night they went out again, as usual, and began to play before 
it was dark. They started their first game, and another followed; 
and when they started still another game, they saw a beautiful plume 
descending slowly from the sky above them; and they all desired to 
have it, because it was beautiful to look at. A very tall young man 
went first, caught it, and put it on his head. As soon as he put it 
on his head, he was taken up by the plume which had come down 
from above. Another youth saw his friend hanging by the plume. 
He stepped up and took hold of his feet. His hand stuck to his 
friend's feet, and the plume pulled them up. Another man took 
hold of the feet of the second one, and his hands stuck fast ; and so 
all the young men stuck by the plume, which pulled them up to the sky. 

Wlien the old men who were in the house heard that the children 
were being taken up by the beautiful plume, they came out, took hold 
of the heel of the last of the young men, and the old men stuck there 
too. The women came out, and one of them took hold of the heel 
of the last one of their husbands, and the women stuck fast. Then 
the children came out, and they all were taken up by the plume. 

Only one princess, the daughter of a great chief, who had just been 
delivered of a child, was left. All the people were taken up by the 
plume ; and at last they dropped down from the plume, and all died. 
Their bodies formed a great pile. The young woman came out, and 
she wept bitterly over the pile of bodies; and wliile she was weeping, 
she wiped the mucus from her nose, and threw it down on the ground; 
and, behold! there was a baby boy formed from the mucus of her 
nose. She took a piece of grindstone and put it next to her body, 
and she took a Uttle branch of a crabapple tree, which she put in her 
bosom, and also her feather. Then she took a little piece of shell 
and put it in her bosom; and when sh(> came in, she wrapped the baby 
boy in marten garments. 

^ ' Notes, p. 734. 

126 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [etii. ann. 31 

Then she took out from Iku- bosom the piece of grindstoiii^, and it 
also became a baby boy, which she wrapped in a sea-otter garment; 
and she took out the little branch of the crabapple tree, and it, too, 
became a baby boy. She took out the little feather, and it be- 
came a baby boy. She took out the tittle piece of shell, and it 
became a little girl. Then she gave names to the children. The first 
one, which originated from the mucus of her nose, she called Nalq 
(Mucus) . This was the name of the eldest one. The second one she 
named Little Grindstone; the third one, Little Crabapple Tree; the 
fourth one, Little Feather; and the fifth one, Ivnife Hand. 

The children grew up; and when they became larger, they began 
to play in the open air, like the former people. Then they saw large 
piles of bones on the level ground; and when they came home, they 
asked their mother what they were. She told them what had hap- 
pened to the people — how they had played every night until the 
chief in heaven became displeased at their noise, and how the chief 
in heaven let a beautiful plume come down; that a tall young man 
took hold of it and put it on his head; and that it wafted all the 
former people up into the sky, young men, old men, women, and cliil- 
dren. She continued, "And I am left alone. Therefore I tell you, 
beloved children, do not play always in the open, lest the Lord of 
JHeaven waft you up, too." 

The young people did not heed their mother's warning, and the 
next morning the}' played again in the open, as then- fathers had 
done in the days of old. They made much noise. Then the plume 
descended again from heaven. They stood still, gazmg at the beauti- 
ful plume which was coming down; and as they looked up with amaze- 
ment, the youngest brother. Little Feather, took hold of the beautiful 
plume, wliich wafted him up. WLen his elder brother. Mucus, saw 
Little Feather lifted from his feet, he took hold of him by the heels, 
and his hands stuck to him. The feather could haidly drag Mucus 
up, but at last his feet wen^ lifted from the ground. Then the second 
brother. Little Grindstone, took hold of his brother's feet, and he 
became a large rock on the grountl. It was liard to pull him up, but 
at last his feet were lifted from the ground. Then the tliird brother 
took hold of his feet, and he liecame a large crabapple tree, whose 
roots were stretched out underground; and it was hard to drag him 
up, but finaUy the roots broke in the ground. 

Then the girl, Knife Hand, sharpened her hand; and as soon as 
Crabapple Tree's roots were hfted from the ground. Knife Hand 
climbed up her brothers' heads until she reached the head of her 
yomigest brother, who had first taken hold of the beautiful plume; 
and she cut the air above the plume with her sharp hand, and the 
brothers dropped down and were like dead. 


Thou the girl took the beautiful pluuic aud swung it over her dead 
brothers' bodies, and they came back to life. When they knew the 
powers of the plume, they went to the place where the bare bones 
were pUed up on the ground, and they put the bones together, and 
joined those of one person to those of another. They put a man's 
head on a woman's body, and they put women's heads on men's 
bodies, and all the bones were mixed together; and they put one 
leg of a tall man together with another of a short man. So we see now 
that some men have no beards, for they have women's heads; and 
some women have whiskers because they have men's heads; and 
some people limp because they have legs belonging to different persons ; 
and many other things besides these happened. Thus they assem- 
bled the bones. 

A large number of bones covered the plain; and after they had 
gathered the bones, Xaiq took the beautiful jjlume and waved it over 
the bones where they were lying on the ground. The fu-st time he 
moved the beautiful plume, behold! there was a noise; the bones 
shook and came together. He waved it a second time, aud, lo! 
sinews and flesh came to be on the bones. He waved it a thii-d time, 
and skin covered the flesh, but there was no breath in them. He 
waved it a fourth time; and while he thus swung the beautiful plume 
the fourth and last time, he said, "Let air from the fom- winds come 
and breathe upon these bodies, that they ma}' come to life again!" 
Then the four winds blew hard, and breatli came back into the bodies, 
and they were ahve, stood up, an exceedingly great multitude. 

Tlien the four young men went home to their mother. Then' 
mother scolded them for havmg taken hold of the beautiful plume, 
and the young men were ashamed on account of the scoldmg they 
had received. Therefore they left home, and left their sister with then- 
mother. They were about to travel over the whole world, and they 
went on and on until the}- arrived at the foot of a high, steep moun- 
tain. Behold! thefe was a blind man, with a bag net, sitting on a 
platform at the foot of the mountain. "WTien they came near, Nahj 
said, " I will touch his bag net, and see what he is going to do with it. " 
He touched the net, and the blind man pulled it up quickly. "When 
he had hauled in his net, he said to himself, "Oh, dear! I have lost 
Nalq." Thus he said. Then they laughed, because the bhnd man 
knew them. Tliis blind person caught people, whom he ate. 

They traveled on, farther and farther awa}-. After some time thej' 
met a raccoon who was holding a little piece of wood in its mouth. 
The youngest brother. Little Feather, kiUed the poor httle raccoon 
and threw it away from their trail. 

Tliej^ went on and soon they came to a hut. Behold ! a middle-aged 
woman came out and made them welcome. Slie invit<'d them into 

128 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

the house. She was very kiad to the j^ouug people, and gave them 
to eat. She said, "Stay here awhile and refresh yourselves from 
your long journey!" While they were eating, the woman asked 
them, " Did you meet my granddaughter on your way here ? She 
went out to get chips for a fire." The four brothers replied that 
they had not met her; that they had seen only a raccoon on their 
way, which they had killed. 

Then the wrath of the old woman was great. She said, " Oh, oh, 
oh! Let every hole close up ! Lot the door close up! Let the smoke 
hole close up!" And all the openings of the house began to close up, 
and the heat began to increase, and the four brothers felt the heat 
Hke that of an oven. However, before the smoke hole had closed, 
the youngest Ijrother, in the form of bird's down, ascended with the 
smoke through the smoke hole ; and when he was outside, he ran 
quickly toward the raccoon which he had killed. He found the place 
where it was, wafted his beautiful plume over the body of the raccoon, 
and it came to life again. Then ho helped the Raccoon to gather 

The three others, however, were dying of the heat in the house. 
Little Feather returned quickly with the Raccoon; and as soon as 
they reached the door, the Raccoon called her grandmother, and 
said, "Grandmother, open the door for mo and let me in!" As soon 
as the old woman heard her granddaughter's voice, she said, "Lot 
the door open, and let all the holes open! Let the smoke hole open!'' 
And they aU came out of the house safely. 

They continued their journey, and went on farther until they came 
to a large lake. Behold ! there was beautiful green grass, and a variety 
of sweetr-smeUing flowers were around the lake. They went around 
the lake, and, behold ! they saw a hut before them at one end of the 
lake with the beautiful sweet-scented breeze. When they came near 
the hut, a Idndly old woman came forth to meet them. "Come in," 
she said, " and refresh yourselves in my house, f8r you have made a 
long journey. Take a rest for a while." The men all went in, and 
the old woman was very kind to them. She gave them good clean 
food, and they ate. Before nightfall she showed them the place 
where to lie down in her hut, and she lot them have her good warm 
blankets. She also told thorn that no danger would come near them 
as long as they were in the house. Before they went to bed, she gave 
them food again, so that they should take a good comfortable rest 
and sleep well. Soon after they had their meal, they were ready to 
sleep, and they immediately went to bed. 

The eldest brother, Nillq, whispered to his brothei-s, "Brothers, 
don't take too much sloop tonight, lost misfortune befall us and we 
all perish. Let some of us sleep, and others keep watch during the 


night!" They did so. Two of them went to sleep, and two of them 
kept watch. Before they were in bed, Nalq saw four poles standing 
behind the old woman's bed, and around the end of each of these 
shi'edded cedar bark was wrapped. 

The old woman watched until her guests were asleep. At mid- 
night the men seemed to be asleep, but Nalq did not sleep. He was 
watching her, and he saw sparks commg from her mouth. The 
brothers were asleep and snoring; and when she heard that they 
were fast asleep, she arose gently from her bed, walked toward her 
guests, and took one of the poles with the shredded cedar bark at its 
end. Then she placed the cedar bark a httle over the first one to 
catch his breath, and then she went to the other one, and to the 
thu-d one. At last she went towards Nalq, and placed the cedar 
bark over his mouth far longer than over that of the others. Then 
she went back to her bed. Nalq saw all that she was doing. Then 
she placed the pole at the foot of her bed. The cedar bark at the 
end of it was quite wet from the moistiu-e of the breath of the foiir 
brothers. Then she lay down, and was soon in a deep sleep. As 
soon as she lay down, sparks came forth from her mouth; but when 
she was in a deep sleep, only a few sparks came from her mouth. 
Nalq watched her; and as soon as the sparks ceased commg from 
her mouth, he arose from his bed and went up to her. He took one 
of the poles with the shredded cedar bark at its end, and held it a little 
above her mouth; and he held it there a long time, until the cedar 
bark was quite wet from the moisture of her breath. Then ho put 
the pole at the foot end of her bed, and took away the pole in which 
she had caught the breath of her guests. Then he lay dowm again. 

Earh' the next morning she awoke, and arose without noise. 
Nalq also arose secretly. He stood at the door, which was half open, 
lookhig on at what she was doing. She went down to the beach and 
shouted. She shouted fom- times. Then the water of the great 
lake began to heave, and, behold! a large Frog came up from the 
water. It came toward the old woman. When the large Frog was 
near her, she said, "Open your mouth, and I wiU feed you with four 
yoimg men who staid in my house last night." Thus she said to 
the Frog. Then the large Frog opened its big mouth wide, and the 
old woman threw her pole with the wet shredded cedar bark into it; 
and the large Frog swallowed it and went home. 

Before she re-entered, Nalq went to his bed and snored loud. The 
woman started her fire and called her guests, and she prepared their 
breakfast. She was a wjtch, who had killed many people that 
traveled past her house. Now, she had fed her supernatural jjower, 
the Frog, with the moisture of her own breath; and while her guests- 
were taking their breakfast, she felt pain in her stomach, and became 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 9 

130 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

worse and worse. She began to groan, and said to her guests, " I 
have brought misfortune on myself, great Nalq!" But the yoimg 
man did not mind what she said. Soon her breath became less and 
less until she died. 

They went on their journey; and before they had gone far thej' 
saw another house. When they opened the door, behold! there 
were many bodies of killed people hanging about inside the house. 
Some of them were only bones. The young men put them on the 
ground near the beautiful lake; and after they had put them in good 
order, Nalq took the beautiful plume and waved it over the bodies, 
as he had done with his own people on the plain; and those who had 
been killed all came back to life after Nalq had waved his plume 
over them four times. When they were all alive again, Nalq asked 
them what had happened to them or who had killed them, and they 
replied that they had died in the house of a kindly woman on the 
other side of the lake. Then the four brothers told them that she 
had killed them with her supernatural power. Xalq told them that 
there was a large Frog at the l^ottom of the lake. Thus he said to 
the men who had just come back to life. 

They traveled on and on until they came to a place between two 
mountains. They went on through the valley; and as they went 
along, the passage became narrower, until they saw that way off 
the two mountains formed a cave. They went on toward the cave 
until they came near it, and there they stopped. Nalq asked his 
brothers, "Dear brothers, which way shall we go?" and his tlu-ee 
brothers replied, "Let us pass through the cave!" And while they 
were still speaking, the cave closed four times, Uke the twinkling of an 
eye, and it remained closed behind them, and they had no way of 
escape from it. The only way they could get out was under the 
t^\^nkling cave. They coimted the twmkling; and after they had 
counted four times, the cave opened slowly. Then Nalq tried to go 
through first. He had three more steps to take, when the cave 
twinkled, and killed him there. Next the second brother, Little 
Grindstone, made ready. After he had counted four, he quickly 
went through ; he had two more steps to take, and the cave twinkled 
again, and killed him also. Then the third brother made ready. 
They counted four. Tlie cave opened slowly, and Little Crabapple 
Tree went through quickly. He had one step more to take, and the 
cave twinkled, and killed him also. Then the last brother made 
ready. He held the beautiful plume in his hands. He counted 
four, and the cave opened slowly. Then J^ittle Feather flew through 
the cave, and took with him the crushed bodies of his brothers. 
He laid them out in good order, took his plume, waved it over them, 
and they came back to life. 


The brothers went on their journey, and soon arrived at the citj'- 
of tlie Au\ One of the Air cliiefs, North Wmd, invited them in, 
and gave liis daughter to Nalq to be his wife. Then another chief, 
South Wind, invited the other three brothers in, and gave his 
daughter to Little Grindstone to be his wife. Then another chief, 
East Wind, mvited the two remaining ones m, and gave his daughter 
to Little Crabapple Tree to be Ids wife ; and another chief, a beautiful 
man, invited Little Feather in, and gave him his daughter to be his 
wife. Now they were married. 

On the following day North- Wind Woman said to her husband, 
"Let us travel about!" Nalq made ready to go with his wife, and 
it was not long before the north wind blew hard. Nalq went along 
with her. He felt cold, and mucus came from his nose. It fell on 
the water and became ice, and therefore ice goes along with the 
north wind. On the same day the South- Wmd Woman asked her 
husband to travel with her. Little Grindstone was ready to go, 
and the south wind blew very hard. Then Grindstone, who fol- 
lowed her, let the water collect in his mouth, and blew it out up into 
the air, and it came down like rain. Therefore the ram goes with 
the south mnd, and the people use water whenever they sharpen 
anytliing on a grindstone. Now, the following day East-Wind 
Woman asked her husband to journey mth her, but Little Crabapple 
Tree was too lazy to go out with his wife; therefore the east wind 
blew harder and harder, trying to move her husband, but the roots 
of the Crabapple Tree spread out under the gi'ound. Then the 
whirlwind blew with the east wind, and Little Crabapple Tree's 
roots gave way, and he went along ^\ath his wife. Therefore whirl- 
winds come with the east wind. 

Again the f oUowiag day the West- Wind Woman asked her hus- 
band to journey with her; and before they started, Little Feather 
said to his wife, "Don't blow so hard, lest you fall behind me, for I 
am faster than you!" and the west wind blew gently. She went 
along with him aU round the world; and therefore the west winds 
blow gentl}' now, for she is afraid of falling beliind her husband. 
Little Feather ; and these four brothers help the four winds now and 
for all time to come, and we are always reminded of the deeds of 
these four brothers. That is the end. 

12. The Feast of the Mountain Goats ^ 

When the people hved in our own village on the upper course of 
Skeena River, which is named Prairie Town, there were many hunters 
among them. They often went out hunting, and succeeded in 
catching many animals. Among them were six brothers who were 

1 Notes, p. 738. 

132 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. axn. 31 

very good hunters. Every fall they used to go huntmg mountam 
goats, and they killed many goats at a time. They took only the 
kidney fat and mtestine fat of the goats, and left all the meat behind. 

The goats were distressed by their actions, for the hunters did not 
burn either bones or meat. The six brothers did this every fall. In 
the following spring they went up the same mountain and killed 
many mountain goats, as they had done before, and they caught a 
kid and «took it down to their home. Then the claildren took the 
kid to the river and threw it out into the water. The poor httle 
thing tried to swim ashore; but as soon as it got ashore, the children 
took it again and threw it into the water, and they laughed when they 
saw how funny the httle kid looked when it was swimmmg. 

The children did so many times, and the httle kid was very cold. 
Then the children built a fire, and let the kid he down on one side of 
it to get warm; and some of the cliildren pushed the kid into the 
fire, so that the hair began to burn, and then threw it agaiir mto the 
water, and they shouted with pleasure. 

Then a young man came down to hear what the noise of the children 
meant. He went down to the children that were playuig with the 
little kid, and he took the poor little kid out of their hands, and 
rubbed its hair with his hands to wipe off the water from the wool. 
The name of this young man was EeaU}^ Black.^ He guided the 
kid way back from the \Tllage until they reached the foot of a high 
mountain, and he said, "Go on, supernatural one, go on!" 

The people forgot what the cliildren had done to the kid; and before 
the next fall drew near, messengers came down to the village. They 
went to every house, and uivited everybody — men, women, and 
children and old people — and told them to go and build a new ■village 
at the foot of a high mountain, right on the prairie. 

The people of the town received tliis message gladly, and the chiefs 
invited the messengere mto their houses, as was the. custom. On the 
following morning the people were ready to go. They followed the 
messengers until the evening, gomg along the prairie, as the messen- 
gers told them; and before evening they saw a large new house, and 
sparks flying out of the smoke hole of the large house. The messen- 
gers ran ahead, and a great multitude of people came out and stood 
on the prairie a httle way from the front of the large house, waitiug 
for the people to meet them. "VVTien the other messengers came up and 
met them, they went towards the buUdmg; and before the guests 
entered the building, the people all came out dancuig, as is the custom 
when a chief invites another tribe. The dancers wore headdresses 
representing mountain goats, and their blankets were goat skuis. 
After they had danced, the people went into the house; and wliile 

> In full, Really Black Raven Featlier.— F. B. 




going into the house, they sang a song, as is then- custom ; and when 
they were all in, one of the young men came along and went to meet 
the youth whose name was Really Black, and spoke to him. "Friend, 
I want you to go with me, and let us sit on the other side of that post 
there!" They went together, and sat down behind the post. Then 
the chief began to dance, and they sang the first song accompan^dng 
the chief's dance ; and a beautiful mountain stood in the middle of the 
building, inside the house. 

Wlien the first song was ended, they began another one; and this 
is their song: ' 



" • 4 

yi yi ye a lia yi ye a a 

yi yi ye a ha yi ye a a 

yi yi ye a ha yi ye a a 

yi yi ye a ha yi ye a a 

yi yi ye a ha yi ye a a 


yi yi ye a ha a 
Na-sta sga-nis-da ha a 
AVil ligl-sgErEl n-na^q-i-gwa 
Awil gun-dad wa'kgEt 
T'in sa-k°iaxs} sga-nisi 

"O yi yi yeahaa! on one side of a high mountain I laid my hoof, because the 
prince of the Mountain Goats kicked down the side of the moimtain." 

When the next song began, behold ! a mountain goat was seen coming 
along the mountain, with one horn on its head. It came down from 
the top of the mountain, jumping, until it reached the foot of the 
mountain; and all the people said, "It looks hke a real mountain 

"V^Tien the last song was being sung, the Mountain Goat leaped in 
front of the guests, and kicked the front of the house. He leaped to 
one side and kicked it again; and the house and the whole floor 
broke down, and aU the people were destroyed alongside the high 
mountain. Only the one youth, Really Black, was saved. He had 
been sitting beliind the house post, which had now become a little 
spruce tree way up on a high mountain. 

There was no way of escape for him, for the rocks were very steep 
above and below. He began to look down below, and on the next 
morning he was crying for fear; but his friend lay by his side, sleeping 
soundly, until the sun was high up in the sky. While the youth 
Really Black was still weeping, the young man who was sleeping by 
his side woke up, and said, "What is the matter with you, friend?" 
and Really Black, full of fear, said, "It is because all my people have 
been buried by this steep mountain, and I have no way of escape from 
this steep place." 

Then the youth who had been asleep said, "Do you know who 
invited your people in?" Really Black said, "No." Then the 

1 Music and words were recorded by Mr. Tate. The adjustment of words and music does not appear 
clearly from his manuscript. — F.B. 

134 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. axx. 31 

youth replied, "The Mountain Goats have done it, becaiise they 
were distressed by your people hunting them every year and catching 
them; for the hunters did not take them home, but left them among 
the mountains; and there the bones of the Mountam Goats would 
decay and be scattered about, instead of being burned — meat, skins, 
bones, and all. Therefore the Goats took vengeance on your people. 
You, however, are the one who took pity on me when the children 
of your people threw me out into the river last spring, and you kindly 
led me away, back to yonder village, to enjoy my freedom, and there- 
fore I will help you from this steep mountain. Do not be afraid. 
You shall get down safely. I shall give you my blanket." 

Really Black felt encouraged by what his friend said to him, but 
still he was full of fear. The young Goat put on his skin, and said, 
"I shall show you what to do." Before he leaped, he said, "On the 
thumb!" and then turned his head towards a deep chasm in the rock. 
He leaped again, and said, "On the sand!" and so on, until he came 
down. Then Really Black lost sight of him. 

He began to cry again and to weep, for ho had lost sight of his 
friend, and he sat down by the Uttle spruce tree; and while he was 
cryuig bitterly, a young Goat came down from above him from the 
top of a high sliding mountain, and he came to the man who was fuU 
of fear, and said, "You see there is no danger in it. Try it!" Then 
the poor man took the Goat's garment with fear and trembling, and 
put it on himself. The young Goat told him not to be afraid, and 
that no harm would befall him. He gave liis friend good advice: 
"Before you leap, say these words, 'On the thumb;' and when you 
leap to the other side, then say, 'On the sand;' and repeat these 
words all along until you get down safely; and when you get down 
safely, pick out your relatives among the bodies. Put them in good 
order, as manj' as you want to live. When you have done so, jump 
over the bodies until they come back to Ufe. You shaU jump over 
them four times ; and hang my blanket on a branch of the tree below, 
and then go home with your relatives and your people." Thus 
spoke the young Goat to his friend Really Black. 

As soon as the speech of Really Black's friend was ended, he started, 
and said as his friend had commanded him. He saitl, "On the 
thumb !" Then he jumped, wearing the skin of the young Goat, and 
his foot stuck firmly to the rock. Then he turned his head another 
way; and before he leaped he said, "On the sand!" and his foot stuck. 
Then he went down without fear, and soon came to the foot of the 
high steep mountain. There he gathered the bodies of his relatives, 
(put them in good order as his friend the Goat had commanded him, 
and he jumped over them four times, and all the bodies came back to 
life.) Then the young man Really Black Raven Feather hung his 
friend's blanket on the branch of a tree, and they all went home. 



On the following day the young man called aU his relatives, and 
they went to the foot of the steep mountain, where the bones of the 
goats lay, piled them up, and burned them all; and they M'alked 
around the burnt bones. They also burned the meat and the skins. 

In those days the people chd not speak badly of animals of any 

kind. They burned the bones and the meat of the animals, and 

did not leave the bones on the mountains. It is said that when a 

hunter burned the bones and meat, then the animals would recover 

from their sickness; but as long as the bones lay scattered on the 

ground, then the animals' sickness would grow worse and worse, and 

they could not be cured. This is what the young Goat told his friend 

behind the little spruce tree on the slope of the shding mountain. 

This is the end. 

13. The Giant Devilfish^ 

A long time ago a good hunter went out with four men in his canoe. 
They went around a large island. Soon they saw Killer Whales 
jumping here and there. There were many of them, and the hunters 
went ashore to hide from them. Soon they saw a good-sized Killer 
Whale jumping out of the water at the foot of a high precipice. Sud- 
denly they saw that he floated dead on the surface, his belly upward, 
and all the Killer Whales were floating there. 

The hunters had camped at this place in the evening. Early the 
following morning the chief hunter awoke and went out of their hut. 
There he saw many Killer Whales coming from all directions, for the 
prince of the KiUer Whales had been kiUed by the Giant Devilfish 
on the preceding day when the hunters had passed the island. The 
Living Depths Horror was the den of the Giant Devilfish at the foot 
of that great precipice. 

When the great monster had killed the prince of the KiUer Whales, 
the chief of the Killer Whales sent his messengers to aU parts of the 
world, and called his people to his viUage. He gave them a great 
feast, and told them that his only son had been killed by the great 
monster who hved at the foot of the great precipice. He said, 
"I want you to come and help me kiU it, because it will always be 
very dangerous to our children." Then all the chiefs of the KUler 
Whales agreed. Therefore they aU assembled that morning when 
the hunter saw them all around on the water. 

Now, the hunters all came out and saw them, and they heard them 
speak like men. All the Killer Whales have only four clans, Mke 
human beings. The chief of each clan called his warriors to kdl the 
great monster. The crests of each clan of these Killer Whales are 
on their dorsal fins. The Eagles have a white line in the middle of 
the dorsal fin; the Wolves have a long dorsal fhi Hke a woK's tail; 

1 Notes, p. 739. 


the Ganlia'da have a short fin hke a raven's beak; and the G'ispawad- 
wE'da have a flat short dorsal fiii wdth a round hole in the middle. 

The chief of the Eagle Clan had been kiUed a few days before. 
Therefore he was the first to call his warrior to gO and attack the 
monster. He jumped and dived into the deep sea and fought against 
the Giant Devilfish. (The devilfish's mouth is in the middle of its 
arms, and it draws it s prey into it . In the middle of very many suckers 
is a sldn which can be pulled back; and when this is chawn back, 
the sawlike edge of the mouth is pressed against the victim.) 

When the first warrior had been there a while, he came up dead, 
and one sucker from the arms also came. Another one was called. 
He dived down into the deep and continued to fight with the mon- 
ster. He staid a httle longer than the first one. Then he came up 
to the surface dead, and two giant ai-ms also came to the surface. 

Thus they continued to battle until the last warrior of the KOler 
Whales had gone and had cut ofl' one arm. He also came up dead, 
and many dead Killer Whales were floating on the water. 

Then the chief of the G'ispawadwE'da called his warriors to fight 
the monster. The chief said, "I will send two at a time." All the 
Whales agreed to this, and two went down to the bottom at a time. 
Then half of the arms of the monster came up with their dead bodies. 
Another two went, and brought up another half of the arms that 
remained after the first two Whales had come up dead. When the 
warriors of the G'ispawadwE'da had obtained two arms, aU their 
warriors had perished. 

Now, the Wolf Clan came forward, and the chief of the Wolves 
said, "I will send down four of my Wolves at a time." They all 
agreed to this. Therefore the chief sent out four warriors to fight 
the great Living Depths Horror. They staid there a little longer, 
and came up dead, and one giant arm came up floathig on the water- 
Another four were sent down. They staid m the deep a long time, 
and then came up with many wounds on their dead bodies, and 
another giant arm floated on the water. Then all the Wolves' 
warriors had perished. 

Now, the Raven Clan came forward. The three clans had already 
obtained five of the monster's giant arms, which floated among the 
dead bodies of the Killer Wliales. Then the chief of the Raven 
Clan said, "You are a brave clan. You have obtained five giant 
ai-ms of the monster of the deep. My relatives are weak. We can 
not do as much as you, but let us try all we can to do the best and 
fight against the monster!" Then he called one of his warriors. 
He called him by name. "Now, Bird Garment will go first! Kill 
that monster that has slain all our bravest people and our prince!" 
Then the young Killer Whale jumped on the water three times. 
He went down; and after he had been there a short time, a giant 
arm came up on the water, and Bird Garment also came up to the 


surface. He took a short rest; and the chief called hmi again. 
"Where are you now, Bird Garment ? " He jumped three times, 
then he went down again. He staid a little longer, and another 
giant arm came up and drifted on the surface of the water. Bird 
Garment followed it. He had obtamed two great arms, and he 
floated on the water, weary. 

The body of this great Killer Wliale was not hurt by the monster. 
He was only tired out. 

Again liis chief called him, and said, "Now, my brave man 
Bird Gai'ment, where are you? Try once more!" Then the brave 
Killer Whale jumped on the water and dived. He staid under 
the water for a long time, and all the Killer WTialcs thought that he 
had been killed by the monster of the deep. Finally he came up 
again with a giant arm in his mouth. 

Then all the tribes of the Killer Wliales shouted for joy and struck 
their tails on the water, saying, "Bu-d Garment is a warrior." And 
when their shouting ceased, he said, "Only two of his long arms 
remam. Now, I desire you to be with me when I go dovni again." 
Therefore the brave Killer Whales took courage, and many of them 
went down with Bird Garment. They bit off those arms, and Bird 
Garment went right to the heart of that fearful monster. Finally 
the two remammg arms were cut off from the body, and so all 
the brave Killer Whales brought up the great monster's body, and 
the clan of Bird Garment became the first of all the clans of the 
Killer Wliales. The Killer Wliales had gained the victory over that 
great monster; but Bird Garment was the bravest among all of 
them, for he alone cut off three arms of the monster. 

The hunters saw all these things, and they luiderstood all the 
Killer Whales had said during the fight with the great monster. 

Many years passed, and the young one of the old Devilfish was 
grown up. He lived in the same place, and was worse than the former 
one. He took down every person that passed by his place. Some- 
times he took down canoes with the hunters and animals. 

One day an Eagle seated on the top of a high cliff saw a spring- 
salmon passing that place. He flew down swiftly and caught the 
spring salmon with his long claws. The salmon struggled on the 
water, and another Eagle came down swiftl}' to help him. Then the 
young monster came up with his mouth wide open and swallowed 
the two Eagles and the spring salmon. 

The two young Eagles were the children of an Eagle chief. He 
was very sorry to know that his two children had been caught by 
the Devilfish. He mourned many days, and his people came to 
comfort him, but he would not listen to them on account of his 
great love for his children. 

At last one of his warriors said to him, "Call all the large bhds, 
and we will make war against the monster." Therefore the sad 

138 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY Teth. a.nx. 31 

chief agreed. He sent his messengers and called all kinds of large 
bii-ds. The Tliunderbirds came, the great Mountain Eagles, Hawks, 
Ravens, and all kmds of birds; and when all the birds were in. 
Chief Eagle told them that the monster had killed his sons while 
they were catchmg a spring salmon at the foot of the precipice. 
Ho continued, "My people here lilce to go and fight him." 

After Chief Eagle had spoken, Thunderbird spoke, and said, "I 
will go with you; I hate him!" Mountain-Eagle Chief also said, 
"I wUl go with you when you fight against h'mi;" and Chief Hawk 
and Chief Raven said the same, and all the birds said the same. 

On tlie following mornuig they went to the top of the precipice. 
Chief Eagle said, "One of my warriors shall go first, and all his 
fellows shall follow him." Therefore the Eagle warrior flew right 
down; and when the great monster saw him flappmg his wings 
above his den, he came out, his mouth first, with which he intended 
to swallow all the Eagles. He opened his mouth and devoured all 
the Eagles. 

Thunderbkd came down next, thundermg and lightening; and 
when the giant monster felt the water trembling, he put out two 
long arms. The liglitning struck them, and the two arms were 
killed. Then all the birds flew down. The Devilfish was very angry. 
He opened his mouth, intendmg to swallow all of them. 

When the Raven saw the mouth open, he flew down, went right 
into the mouth, and plucked out the great monster's heart with his 
sharp beak, and so the giant monster died there. 

Thus another Raven clan also gained the victory. Therefore the 
Giant Devilfish is afraid of the Ravens up to this time. 

When the people m olden times saw a devilfish coming up under a 
canoe, sometimes a man would sing out Iflce a raven, "Caw, caw, 
caw!" Then the great monster would die before it came to the 
surface of the water. The devilfish would always die when it 
heard the sound of the raven's voice; but if a person waited until 
the monster came to the surface of the water and then sang out, 
it was in vain, and the great monster would swallow him, canoe and 
all. Therefore the hunters would watch for devilfish in the water. 
These two stories of the Devilfish are coimected. This is the end.* 

14. The Hunter's Wife Who Became a Beaver^ 

A man and his dear wife went out hunting raccoons. He went to 
his hunting-ground where they had been many times before, and he 

' See p. 100. 

2In olden times the people were skillful hunters, because the skins and meat of animals were very useful 
to them: for their clothing was made of the skins and furs of animals. Therefore they himted grizzly bear, 
black bear, and moimtain goat. All these were very useful animals. They spim the wool of the mountain 
goat and made yam of it, and then it was woven into dancing-blankets and cloaks. The wool was used 
for many objects; and they used the skins of all kinds of animals, great and small. Therefore they were 
very good hunters. Thus it was with one family.— Henby \V. Tate.— Notes, p. 739. 



built his hunting-lodge there. Many clays passed by after thej^ had 
reached this place. One morning the man went out to put up his 
raccoon traps, wliile his wife staid at home in the camp. The man 
came home late in the evenmg; and two days later he went to look 
after his traps, which he had put up a few days before. He had 
built many all along the valley. When he came to liis traps, they 
all had caught animals, and he set them agam. Then he carried the 
raccoons to the camp, and his wife was very glad to see her husband's 
good luck. Late at night he finished his work, and on the followmg 
morning he began to skhi the raccoons, and his wife helped liim. 
They dried the skins and the meat, and both worked all day until 
late at night. 

On the followmg day he went agam to his traps, and he caught 
more than he had before. His wife helped him carry the animals 
to the camp, and early the next mornmg they skinned the animals. 
The woman was very hapjjy because her husband had caught many 

The sun was shinmg on then- camp when she went to the place 
where her husband was working. She said, "My dearly beloved 
husband, just look at me for a while! " The man had no time to 
look at her, and did not pay attention to what liis wife said. She, 
however, forced liim to look at her. When she thus compelled him 
to look at her, the man said, "You are no better than these raccoons." 

Then the woman was very much ashamed, and left her husband 
weeping. She sat down on the bank of a brook that ran between 
those two mountains. There she was sitting and weeping; but her 
husband did not pay any attention to her, because he had much 
work to do with the animals he had killed. The woman continued 
to cry. When her husband saw this, he said to her, "Stop crying, 
my dear, and come home with me!" but she rephed, "No, I won't; 
I am no better than these raccoons. I am ashamed on account of 
what you have said to me. Go away! I am no better than the 

She cried agam ; and so her husband went away, and went on with 
his work. She contmued to weep. Before the sun went down she 
felt very warm, and therefore she stopped crying and went down to 
the little river to cool herself. She took gravel and small pebbles and 
dammed up the water to make a small pool, in which she intended 
to swim. Soon the water began to rise to her knees. Then she took 
more stones and gravel to dam up the water. There was a rock 
in the middle of the pool which she had made. She went there and 
rested on it. 

When the sun went down, her husband came dowTi and called her 
ashore; but she refused to come, and said, "I am no better than your 
raccoons. I am much ashamed on account of what you said to me. " 
Then the man saw her swimming about in the pond. Late in the 

140 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

night he went home; but his wife was still in the water, and staid 
there all through the night. The man did not sleep. lie heard his 
wife striking the water with her apron whenever she turned. 

Early the next morning he arose and went down to look after his 
wife. Then he saw a lake below the camp, and Ms wife swimming 
about ui it. Therefore the man stood on the shore of the lake and 
cried, "Come home, my dear wife! You know I love you better 
than any one. Come home, now! Do come home!" She replied, 
"No, you love the raccoons better than me. I shall never come back 
to you. " She still worked at her dam, and she would strike the water 
with her small leather apron whenever she dived.' 

Then the man was very sorry. He kept on watchhig for several 
days, and would call his wife to come ashore; but she would only 
reply, "I am very much ashamed on account of what you said to 
me. Go home, and tell my brothers that I am not dead. I am 
going to live in this lake all by myseK. " 

Therefore the man went do^^^l to his village. Wlien he reached 
home, he went to his wife's brothers and told them what had become 
of his wife. Then these six brothers went with their sister's husband 
to the huntmg-ground. When they reached there, behold! there 
was a large lake between the two mountains, and a beaver's house in 
the center. The six brothers stood on the shore of the lake, full of 
sorrow, together with their brother-m-law. 

Then the eldest one said, "My only sister, we have come to take you 
down to our home. " Then she came swimming and stopped in front 
of them, and said, "No, I will not come. Leave me alone! I am 
well off here. My husband is not angry with me, but I am ashamed 
of myseK. No, I will never go down with you, but look well after 
my poor husband ! Don't hurt him ! I intend to stay here by myself. 
Any time you want to come, visit me." After she had said these 
words she dived. Then the six brothers lifted their voices and wept. 
She emerged on the other side of the large lake. 

Then the brothers went home full of sorrow. After two months 
had passed, they went up to the valley again; and when they reached 
there, there was a very large lake between the two mountains. It 
covered the whole valley; and they saw their sister diving, and they 
saw also three large round objects floating in the middle of the large 
lake, "with three young beavers on them. 

The woman had been very good-looldng. Her hair was reddish. 
The brothers were standuig on the shore weeping, and their sister 
came toward them. Then the eldest brother said agam, "Will you 

1 In olden times men as well as women used to wear a small piece of leather as an apron. They used 
soft leather of a good quality, as wide as the palm of the hand. They used to fasten both ends in the belt 
in front and behind, and the body was bare. They wore only loose garments. The men had no coats, 
nor shirts, nor trousers, nor suits of clothing. The women also had no petticoats, as they have now. 
Thus it was with this woman.— Henby W. Tate. 


not come down viith us?" but she could not speak a word. She 
just dived m front of them. Her leather apron had become a beaver's 
tail, and her body was covered with dark-brown fur. She was afraid 
that her brothers had seen her cliildren swimming about with her. 

Then the brothers went home again fidl of sorrow. The six 
brothers could not forget her. The following spring they went again 
to visit her, and they found the large lake full of beavers. There 
they stood on the shore weeping; and as they stood there weeping, 
behold ! a large Beaver came toward them with a green cottonwood 
tree in her mouth. Her face was not yet covered with hair. Then 
the eldest brother said to her, "My only sister, will you not come 
down with us to our house?" but she could not speak. She just 
dived in front of them, seeming to say that she could not do it. Then 
the brothers wept bitterly and went home once more. 

Now, the brothel's considered what they could do with their sister, 
and finally decided to break the dam. Therefore the following spring 
they set out, went to the lake that their sister had built, and they 
worked, trying to break down the dam. Before they started theii- 
work they had seen that the large lake was fuU of beavers, but their 
sister was not among them. Then they worked on until the dam 
began to break down and the water burst out; and before the lake 
was emptied many beavers came out of the empty lake. All the 
beavers escaped and fled away from them, and scattered all over the 
land, but the mother-beaver was not with them. Therefore when 
the big lake was empty, the brothers went into the lake-bed to see 
if their sister were still there. They went into the beaver houses, 
and at last they found her right in the bottom of the lake. Her 
body was all covered with fur, but her face was still the same. She 
could not speak. Her finger-nails were Hke animal claws, and her 
leather apron had become a beaver tail. She was glad to see her 
brothers. She died right there, because she was on dry ground. 

Therefore the people say that all the beavers are females, not 
males, because the woman was their ancestor; and also because the 
woman's hau- was brown, therefore aU the beavers have brown fur, 
no black. This is the end. 

15. The Wintek Hitntees and the Mosqihto^ 

In olden times the people used to hunt in the winter and travel 
way up the mountains. Once upon a time there were ten brothers 
who went hunting. Their wives accompanied them. They went 
on and on far away from their home. They passed many mountains, 
valleys, and rivers, and after many days they finally came to the top 
of a mountain. They looked down into the valley, and, behold! 
there was smoke at the foot of the mountain. Therefore they said 

'Notes, p. 740. 

142 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

to one another, "Let us go down and camp in these houses!" for it 
was near the end of the day. 

So they slid down on their snowshoes, and soon came to the end 
of a village. The people came out to meet them when they came down, 
and each family invited one of the strangers into their house. They 
said, "We are told that ten brothers with their wives have arrived, 
and the youngest brother has a young wife with a child." 

The cliief of the village invited the youngest one into his house, 
and also his young wife with her child. Wlaen the chief gave them 
their supper, and wlule they were eatmg, the cWld began to cry. 
The mother was very hungry, and cUd not mind the crying of the 
child. Therefore a middle-aged woman who was seated on the other 
side of the fire asked the young mother to let her have the child while 
she was eatmg, and the young woman gave her the child . 

The cliild kept on crying and screaming. Therefore the old woman 
put her mouth to the baby's ear and sang tliis song: "A, a, a, ye! 
A, a, a, ye! " Thus sang the old woman into the baby's ear. Then 
the cliild began to cry less and less until it stopped. 

The child's mother always looked over to her child wliUe she was 
eating; and after she had finished, she went over. She thought her 
child was sound asleep. Soon after her meal she saw that her child 
was hanging on the arm of the old woman. She took her cliUd from ' 
her, and, behold! it was dead in the arms of the old woman. 

The young mother did not cry, but only wrapped the cliild in her 
marten blanket, and saw, when she examined it, that blood was 
oozing out of the baby's ear where the old woman had put her mouth. 
Therefore the young woman told her husband, "My dear, the inliabit- 
ants of this village are not real people; they are strange beings. 
Go to your brothers, and tell them what has happened to our cliUd 
while we were eating our meal." 

So the young man went to liis brothers and told them what had 
become of their little child, and gave orders to liis brothers not to 
sleep, to avoid danger. He said, " Wliile these people are asleep, let 
us escape the same way that we came sliding down!" 

Late in the evening the people of the village went to bed. The 
two young people were fuU of sorrow on account of the death of their 
cliild. Not long after the people had gone to bed, the chief arose 
again, and crept toward the young couple. Then they made a noise, 
and coughed when the chief was close to the place where they lay; 
and when the cliief heard the cougliing, he ran away and lay down 
again in liis own place. 

After a while another man in the house arose and came toward them. 
Wlien he was near by, they coughed, and the man crept away from 
them. Thus it happened with all the brothera and their hosts. 


Just before daybreak all the people of the village were sound 
asleep. Then the strangers went out secretly, and all met at the 
end of the village and went up the mountain. Before they reached 
the top of the mountain, they looked back, and, behold ! a multitude 
of people came in pursuit, climbing the side of the steep mountain. 

Then the few strangers were in trouble; and when they reached 
the shding snow, they held a counsel,- and they agreed that when 
their pursuers were close behind them, they woidd try to cause an 
avalanche to destroy them. 

So the ten men and ten women worked hard in the snow. They 
used their staffs with mountain-goat horn at the points to dig across 
a large snowbank that hung on one side of the mountain ; and when 
the multitude that pursued them was close behind them, they threw 
down a large jDiece of snow, and they all perished, and were swept 
away under the avalanche. 

Then the ten couples had a rest on top of the snow, for they were 
weary after their labor; and wliile they were there, behold! another 
multitude of people came behind them, more than before, and the 
hearts of the ten couples failed. 

Now, the youngest one said, "Let our hearts not fail us! Let us 
all have courage! " and so they began again to work with their staffs, 
and dug out the snow; and when the many people who pursued them 
were near to them, they broke off a large piece of snow, which fell 
down over the people that jjursued them, and they all perished in the 

Still another multitude of people were coming along, and they also 
perished in an avalanche. They had done this several times, and at 
hist the chief came up to them alone. He was a short, stout man. 
He came up to them quickly, so that the ten couples had no time to 
loosen the snow. 

This was the Mosquito Town, and the old woman m the chief's 
house drank the baby's blood through its ear. The chief's name was 
Baboudina ( ?"). He was pursuing the ten couples because his people 
had been destroyed by the avalanches. His proboscis was of pure 
crystal. He ran rapidly toward them, and kiUcd the first one with 
his crystal proboscis. 

Then he went to the other one, and the rest ran away from him, 
but he pursued them. Finally only one young woman was left. 
She was younger than aU the others, and ran faster than they. She 
was the mother of the child that was kiUed m the house of Chief 
Baboudina. She ran more quickly than the chief; and when she 
arrived at a lake, she ran into the water; and while she was walking 
in the water, she saw a tree slanting over the lake. She went to it 
and climbed to the top. There she staid. As soon as she reached 

144 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. Ann-. 31 

the top of the tree, behold! Baboudmu was coming along, following 
the scent of her footprints right down to the water. Then he lost 
her tracks and looked about in the water. 

At last he saw the young woman sittmg m the water. Then he 
jumped m and tried to kill her; but he could not do it, for he only 
saw the young woman's reflection in the water of the lake. He came 
out of the water again, and the water was full of dirt and mud. 

He stood on the shore waiting untU the mud cleared away. 
When it was clear, he saw the woman again sittmg at the same place. 
He dived again, and tried to get her in the mud, but could not catch 
her. He came out again, and stood on the shore looking uito the 
water, waiting until it cleared, and soon the water was clear again. 
Therefore the woman laughed at him, because he was so foolish; 
and as soon as the water was clear, he saw the woman laughmg and 
Scorning him, as he thought. Therefore he was very angry, and 
dived once more, and staid in the water a long whOe. He came 
out agam and was furious. He felt quite chilly because he had been 
in the water a long whUe. 

He remained standing at the same place, waiting for the water to 
clear agam. The sun had almost set before the water was clear. 
Then he saw the young woman laughing and scornmg him. Full of 
anger because the young woman was mocking him, he jumped again 
into the water and kicked and beat the mud in the bottom of the 
lake. He staid there a long while; and when he came out again, 
he was very chilly. 

Then he tied up all his long hair on the top of his head, and made 
it round like a ball. His whole body was shaking, for he felt so 
cold. The sun had gone down in the west; and he stood there, his 
body shakmg, and the ball of hair movmg quickly. This made the 
woman laugh very much when she saw it. When the water was 
clear once more, Baboudina saw the young woman laughing again, 
and he plunged in. He did not care about the cold. He forgot all 
about it, and he staid there twice as long as he had before. 

Finally he came out of the water. He walked very slowly ashore, 
for he felt very cold. The moon was shining, the sky was clear, and 
the north wind was blowmg, and soon he was frozen to death. His 
wings were frozen to the ground. The woman saw him lying there 

She did not believe that he was really dead. Therefore she took a 
rotten branch, and tlirew it toward the place where he lay; but he 
did not move. Then she came down from the tree and went to the 
place where he lay and kicked him, but he was quite dead. 

Then she took her fish-knife made of shell, which she wore under 
her shirt about her neck, and cut him open. She took out his heart; 


but the heart had two eyes ami a mouth, and was still livmg. It 
looked at tho 5'oung woman, and the young woman was afraid of it. 

She took it down to the bodies of her companions. When she 
came to the one who was last kUled, she swimg the heart over him, 
and he arose agam after she had swung it over him four tunes. 

Then she went to another one and swung tho live heart of Baboudina 
over his body, and he came to life. She went to all her companions 
who had been killcnl ; and when they were all alive again, they were 
all very happy; and the young woman told them that she had killed 
the chief of the Mosquitoes, that he was lying dead by the lake. 

Then they aU wanted to go and see him. The following day they 
went there, and found the place where he lay dead. They examined 
the body, and saw that the proboscis was of pure crystal. Then 
they said to one another, "Let us burn him up right here!" They 
started a fu-e, and put his dead body on the fu-e. His heart also was 
burned, and only the ashes remained there. 

And some of the people blew into the fii'e where they had burned 
Baboudina, and blew the ashes of the dead chief's body about. 
Then all the ashes flew upward, and thus the ashes of Baboudina 
became small mosquitoes. Therefore mosquitoes remam on earth 
now. After they had finished this, they aU went home safely. 

IG. The Hunters ' 

There were ten princes who went out hunting. When they arrived 
at their camping-place, they built a hut. Their wives accompanied 
them. Only the youngest brother had no wdfe. 

After they had finished their hut, the eldest brother went alone to 
hunt porcupine; and when he was a short way off from the camp, 
behoUl! he saw a large, fat porcupine coming toward him. He 
clubbed it, tied its hind legs, and hung it on a tree. 

He went on and cUmbed a rock. When he reached the top, 
behold! there was a wliite she-bear. He went up to her and shot 
her •with his arrow; and when the man saw that the bear was dead, 
he went on to the top of the mountain a little higher up, desirous of 
seeing the other side. He did so; and when he reached the top, he 
looked down on the other side of the steep mountain. There he saw 
a village at the foot of the mountain, and smoke rising from it. 

He slid down the ice on his snowshoes, and came to the side of the 
first house. He looked through a knot-hole, and, behold! a young 
woman was alone in that house. She looked at the man and smded 
at him. She said, "Come in, my dear!'' 

Then the people in the next house questioned her, and asked, 
"Did any one come to see you?" and she rephed, "Yes, it is so." 

I Notes, pp. 741, 759. 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 10 

146 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [etii. ann. 31 

This last house belonged to a chief. Then the chief said to the woman, 
"Send him to me, that I may give him to eat." Then the woman 
said to the young man, "Go to the chief's house, for he invites you 
in!" Therefore he went; and when he entered, a crowd of young 
men came to meet him at the door. They took all his weapons and 
examined them, and they made him sit down on one side of the large 

Then the chief ordered his attendants to prepare food for him, 
and they did so. They gave him rich, fat food; and while he was 
eating, the young men brought in all the weapons wliich they had 
taken from him. 

When it was late in the evening, the chief gave him some fur 
blankets — marten blankets and raccoon blankets — and the hunter 
slept soundly. 

Early the following morning somebody shouted, "The grizzly 
bears are coming down on the other side of the river!" Therefore 
the chief said, "Let the good hunters go and Mil them!" Then the 
hunter took all Ms weapons and went across the river, and he took 
his first quartz arrow to shoot the grizzly bear, but his bow broke. 
Then he took his spear, but his spear broke. Then the great grizzly 
bear came to him and killed him right there. 

Then the cliief whose guest he had been the night before cut him 
in two and hung him up in one corner in the front of his house. 

Now, the second brother set out to search for his elder brother, who 
had been lost a few days previous. He took all his weapons, hung 
liis quiver over his side, took his spear over his shoulder, and his 
good bow, and started. After he had left the camp a Uttle while, 
behold! there was a large fat porcupine which met liim on Ms way. 
He clubbed the porcupine, tied its Mnd legs, and hung it on a tree, 
as his elder brother had done before. 

He went a little farther; and when he reached the top of the rock, 
he saw a very fine wMte she-bear feeding on the green grass before 
Mm. He crept up to her secretly and shot her. The bear fell on 
the green grass. He went up to her, and wanted to see the top of the 
mountain a Httle above him. When he reached the top of the moun- 
tain, he looked down on the other side, and saw the smoke rising 
from a large village at the foot of the steep mountain. 

Then he slid down on Ms snowshoes; and when he came to the 
side of the first house, he went around and looked through a knot- 
hole; and the woman inside looked at him, smiled at him, and 
invited Mm in. 

Again the people next door, in the house of the cMef, asked the 
woman, "Did any one come to you ?" and she repUed "Yes." There- 
fore the cMef said, " Let Mm come to be my guest ! " and so the young 
woman sent him to the cMef's house. 


As soon as he came in, he saw a crowd of young people, who met 
him at the door. They took away all his weapons, and some led 
him to one side of the cliief's great fire. They made him sit on a 
grizzly-bear skin which was spread there. Then the chief said to his 
attendants, " Feed my friend with rich food!" and his attendants pre- 
pared food and did what the cliief had told them. They served him 
with rich food, and during the meal the young men brought his 
weapons in. Then the chief ordered his servants to lend him a 
blanket for the night. Then they all went to bed, and the man 
slept soundly. 

Early the next morning a shout was heard outside. "Behold! 
grizzly bears are coming down yonder!" Therefore the chief said, 
"Let the hunters go and kill them for me!" The young man made 
himself ready and started. He went toward the grizzly bear, and 
took his first quartz arrow and shot it, but his ari'ow broke. He took 
another one out of his quiver; and as he tried to shoot, his bow broke. 
He threw it away, took his spear, and when he attacked the bear the 
point of the spear broke. Therefore the grizzly bear caught hold of 
him and killed him right there; and the cliief took him into his house, 
cut him in two, and hung him in the corner with Ms elder brother. 

Then the third brother set out to search for his elder brother. He 
took all his weapons; and when he was a little way off, he saw a large 
fat porcupine. He clubbed it and hung it on a tree. Then he went 
a little farther on, and there he saw a fine white she-bear and shot 
her; and when the bear lay on the grass, the man went on and took 
up his arrow with which he had shot the she-bear. He went to the 
top of the mountain, as his two brothers had done before him, and 
looked down on the other side of the mountain. There he saw the 
large village on the other side of the mountain. He slid down on 
his snowshoes, and soon reached the side of the first house. He went 
around and looked through the knot-hole, and saw a beautiful young 
woman sitting alone in the house. She saw him and smiled, and 
invited him to come in. As soon as he was inside, the chief in the 
next house asked the young woman, "Did any one come to you?" 
She answered, "Yes, somebody came." Therefore the chief said, 
"Send him to me, I will feed liim with rich food." So the woman 
sent him to the cMef's house. He went, and crowds of young men 
met him at the door. They smiled at him and took all his weapons 
from him, and some led him to one side of the house, where a grizzly- 
bear skin had been spread out, and they made him sit on it. Then 
the chief ordered his attendants to feed him with rich food. They 
did so; and while the meal was being served, the young men who 
had taken away his weai^ons brought them back to him. Then the 
chief said to his servants, "Lend him a blanket for tonight." They 
did so. 

148 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth.ann. 31 

The next morning a shout was heard. Behold! a grizzly bear is 
coming down the river. Therefore the chief said, "Let the hunters 
go and kill it for me!" Then the young man made himself ready, 
went across and met the grizzly bear, and shot it with liis good arrow, 
but it broke. He took another one out of his quiver; and when he 
intended to shoot again, Ms bow broke. He threw it away and took 
up his spear; and wliile he attacked it, his spear broke also. There- 
fore the grizzly bear came to him and killed him. The chief took him- 
and cut him in two, and hung him up with the two other brothers in 
the corner of his house. 

Thus the rest of the brothers set out one at a time. They all met 
the same dangers, and all their widows were left in the camp. Only 
the 3'oungest brother now remained. He was cr\ang for the loss of 
his nine brothers; and when the days of his mourning were over, he 
prepared to start, but the nine widows did not want to let him go, 
because their husbands had all been lost : but the young man insisted 
on going. He wanted to see what had happened to liis nine brothers 
who had been lost, and all the widows were weeping. 

The young man also wept bitterly, and he said, "Why did not one 
of my brothers go in another direction ? They all went in the same 
direction." And he lifted up liis voice and wept bitterly, and all the 
widows wept with him. Then the young man said to liis sisters-in- 
law, "I shall come back again, and I shall take you down home when 
I come back from there." 

Then he set out, and took all his good, strong weapons. He put 
on his hunthig-garment, and took food ^vith liini. When he had 
gone some distance from the camp, he met a large, fat porcupine; 
but this young man went another way, thinking that he would not 
touch the porcupme, and he thought, "Maybe my nine brothers met 
it on their way." 

After he had gone a little farther, he saw a fine white she-bear 
feeding on the gi-een grass. He went to her and shot her, and she 
fell down dead. The young man roUed the bear over, and saw the 
beautiful white fur on her beUy, and he touched it with his hand, 
and said, ''What makes your beUy so big?" 

Then the she-bear was all of a sudden transformed into a beautiful 
young woman, and she laughed wlien the young man touched her 
with his hand.' She said, "Your brothers did not do what you have 
done to me, therefore they were aU slain by the chief in the grizzly- 
bear village yonder." 

The young man staid with her; and the pretty woman said,^ 
"You may go down to the grizzly-bear town, and I wiU teU you 

■ Original: Da sa-sit-ya'ksa'mEs-6'la a sEm-ama-pIa'sEm su-pla'sEm hana'°xda, sa-sis'a'xsit a asi at 
dEm da'milda su-pIa'sEm y!o"ta ba'n dEda an'o'ndit. 
2 Original: Ada k!a-sila-gam-mi'°lkda su-p!a'sEm y!o'°ta; ada a'lg ixga ama-p!a'sEm liaiia'°xga°. 


what to do." After the woman had said so, she vanished from liis 

Then the young man went to the top of the mountain; and when 
he reached up there, he looked down on the other side and saw a 
large town at the foot of the steep mountain. He sHd down over 
the ice, and arrived at the side of the first house at the end of the 
large town. He went around and looked thi-ough a knot-hole, and, 
behold! the same woman was alone in there. She looked at the 
young man and smiled, and beckoned to him, and he staid with her.* 

She said to him, "The cliief wiU invite you in, but do not eat 
much, as your nme brothers have done; and do not allow them to 
take your weapons away from you, for they always exchanged your 
brothers' weapons for dried stalks. Let them not have any of your 
weapons. Earlj- tomorrow morning the gi'izzly bear will come 
down, and the chief wiU send you to kiU it. When you have kQled 
it, the whole village will fight against you, but I wiU help j'ou. 
Because your brothers' weapons were exchanged for stalks of plants, 
their arrows and then spears broke easily. Now, I shall let you 
have my two dogs to help you when you are tired." With this she 
handed him her two pups, and said, "Put them in your garment. 
When you are out of breath, tlu-ow the two pups on the gi-ound, 
and say, 'Grow up quickly. Red, and fight!' and then tlu-ow down 
the other one, and say, 'Grow up quickly, Spots!' " 

After the woman had finished speakmg, the chief in the house 
next door asked, "Did any one come to you?" The woman did 
not answer him at once, as she had done before, because she loved 
the young man much. The young man embraced her and kissed 
her many times. After that the chief asked again, "Did any one 
come to you?" and the young woman rephed quickly, "Yes, he is 
coming." Then the chief said, "Send him over to my house, that I 
may feed liim on rich, fat food." 

Then the man went; and when he came to the door of the chief's 
house, a great crowd of young men met him. They acted very 
kindly toward him, and wanted to take his w^eapons from him, but 
he refused to let them have them. They led him to one side of the 
large house, and a grizzly-bear skin was spread b}' the side of the 
large fire. He sat dowii there, but nobody took his weapons away 
from liim. Then the chief ordered his attendants to prepare food, 
and they did so; but the young man refused to eat, and said, "I just 
finished my dinner before I came shding down the mountain, there- 
fore I am very thankful for your kindness;" but the chief compelled 
him to eat. Therefore the young man took a little. Late at night 

I Original: Gakstatna'", da ninli's hana'°xda k'.ul-Iu-k!a'IdEt da dt-niost da hmamst, ada ligi-an'o'nt 
asga su-p!a'sEm y!6'°taga« da la'lgut a na-wU-ni'kga hana'°xt. 

150 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. axn, 31 

they went to bed and slept. The young man was on the alert, and 
kept his weapons in readiness. 

Before he went to sleep, he looked at one corner in the front of the 
house, and saw his nme brothers hanging there, cut in two, and his 
heart was filled with sorrow. Therefore he could not sleep soundly 
at night. 

Before it was midnight he perceived that some one came to the 
place where he was lying, trying to steal his weapons; but he held 
them in his hand, and coughed to let them know that he was not 
asleep. Many tried hi the same way, but before dayhght came they 
were all asleep. When day began to dawn, not a sound was to be 
heard; and when the sun rose high, a soft voice was heard outside, 
saying, '"Behold! the gi'izzly bear is coming down on the other side 
of the river." Then the chief said, '"Let the hunter kill it for me!" 
Then the young man, who had kept ready, set out at once. He 
crossed the river, went right up to the great gi'izzty bear, and kiUed 
it. Then another gi"izzly bear came along, and he kiUed it also. A 
third one came along, and he killed it. Then two came together, 
and he killed both of them. Four came together, and he killed 
them. Then aU the grizzly bears pressed the young man hard, but 
he stood firmly, fighting against them. 

Finally his quiver was empty. Then he took his spear, and killed 
them with it, and many gi-izzly bears covered the ground. Now he 
was very thed. He had forgotten all about the two pups that he 
had. When he was almost ready to faint, he remembered the two 
pups. He took one out, threw it on the ground, and said, "Grow 
up quickly, Red!" and then he threw down the other one, and said, 
"Grow up quickly, Spots!" and the two pups became giant dogs. 

Now, the two large dogs were stronger than the grizzly bears, and 
killed as many as they could while the hunter was lying on the 
gi'ound, for he was weary and needed a rest. The two giant dogs 
killed all the grizzly bears. When the two dogs also were tired out 
and the young man had recovered his strength, he went to the place 
where the two giant dogs were, and he petted them, as his sweet- 
heart had advised him to do when she gave him the two pups. 

While the young man was petting them, the two dogs became 
smaller and smaller until they had regamed their former size. Then 
he put them back in the belt of his garment. He went across to the 
village, while the place where he had been was covered with grizzly 

The young woman came down and met him on the way. They 
went to the chief's house; and when they entered, they saw Chief 
Grizzly Bear lying dead there. The young woman said, "Now cut 
him open and take out his heart, and I shall wave it over the bodies 
of your nine brothers. Then they shall come back to life." Thus 


spoke the young woman. He did as she hud said. He took out 
the heart and gave it to her. Then she waved it over the body of 
the eldest one four tunes. Then the eldest brother came back to 
life. He rubbed his eyes just as though he were waking from sleep. 
Then she went to the second one, and the second brother came back 
to life, as lus eldest brother had done before; and so with aU the 

When they had all come back to life, the youngest one said, "Now 
go down to our camp and bring your wives here." So the nine men 
went to then- camp, and the wives were very glad to see them come 

On the following day they started for the grizzly-bear village. 
The youngest brother had married White-Bear Woman, and he 
divided among his brothers the bears which he had killed. After 
they had dried the meat and the grizzly-bear skins, they were ready 
to move, and on the following day they packed all then* belongings 
to go home. They started and went right to their home. 

Wlien they reached then- own home safely, the eldest brother 
invited all his people, and told them their story — how they had met 
dangers at the village of the grizzly bear, and how their youngest 
brother had delivered them from the hands of the cruel animals that 
had destroyed them, and how this youngest brother had married 
the beautiful woman who had helped him from the hands of those 
who had deceived them. Then the youngest brother brought down 
his beautiful wife to his own house. 

The young woman always followed him wherever he went, and 
the young man was successful in everything ho did, on account of the 
help of the Bear Woman. He killed the strongest aiiimals of all 
kinds, for his two dogs were stronger than any kind of animal. 

Once upon a tune this young man who had married the White- 
Bear Woman heard of a shaman woman who was killmg all the 
hunters who passed her den. Therefore he set out with his wife 
to visit her. When they reached the cave in which the supernatural 
woman lived, she came out and mvited them to visit her den; and 
when they went in, she made them sit on one side of her fire on a 
broad board. As soon as the young people were seated, they saw a 
number of dead people hanging on poles in the corners of the house. 
Then the supernatural woman said, "I shall have your wife for my 
dinner today, and tomorrow I shall eat you." The young man 
replied, "I shall have your head, and I shall put it on a long pole. I 
shall feed your flesh to my two dogs." With this he threw his two 
dogs on the ground, and his wife said, "Grow up quickly. Red, and 
you, Spots!" Then the two dogs shook theii* bodies and grew up 
to be large dogs. Then the young man said, "Attack her and bite 
her neck and eat her flesh!" The two dogs rushed at her so quickly 

152 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

that she had no tune to call up her own supernatural helpers. They 
bit her neck, bit off her head, and the two dogs ate her flesh, but her 
head was still alive. The young man took it and put it on a pole, 
which he placed upright in the mouth of her den. Then the young 
woman took her two dogs, petted them, and they became smaller 
and smaller until they were of the same size as before. 

They went to their own house, and when they arrived there, the 
pups were dead. Then the young man died also. The woman took 
her husband's body and her two dead dogs and carried them to her 
own home. That is the end. 

17. The Hunter and his Wooden Wife ^ 

A himter married a young woman. He loved her very much 
because the young woman knew how to make dancing-blankets, 
which were very dear to the people in olden times. 

Not many days after their marriage the hunter made ready to go 
up the mountains for fall and winter hunting. One day they started, 
and he went with his young wife, taking all his woodworker's tools 
and his traps and snares. They went on and on until they arrived 
at his camping-groimd, and there they went into the hut. In the 
autumn the young man first hunted mountain sheep, whose w^ool 
the young wife needed for making dancing-garments. Therefore 
the man kOled many. Pie took off the good wool, and the young 
woman took all the wool and washed it; and when it was dry enough, 
she spun it into yarn; and after she had spun it all, she dyed some; 
and when she was ready, she began to weave; and when one half of 
her weaving was finished, she became sick whOe her husband was 
away. When he came home, he found his young wife very ill. 

Wlien she was dying, she called her young husband to her side, 
and said, "My dear husband, keep your love for me after I am dead. 
Don't go home too soon! Watch over my grave!" Then she died. 

The young man w^as m deep sorrow for her sake. He kept her 
dead body many days. Now the winter was nearly passed, and he 
still kept the body until it was decayed. Then he buried it. He 
carved an image of his wife out of red cedar. 

This man never touched anything that his wife had made, and so 
it was with her dancing-garment which she was making when she 
died. It was still hanging there where it had been when she was work- 
ing on it. When he made the image of his late wife, he seated it in 
front of her unfinished dancing-garment, and he made the fingers 
move as though they were weaving a dancing-garment. He made 
it turn when he opened the door, and he pretended that the image 
could speak. 

^ Notes, p. 744. 


Then he began to hunt agam; and whenever he came home from 
huntmg, he threw down his bear meat and fat outside the house. 
Then he would speak to his wife-unago, "Come out and look at this!" 
Then he spoke to liimself as though his unage-wife were speaking: 
"Oh, I can not, because my yarn is twisted around my fingers! 
Therefore I won't come out." Then he went in and embraced his 
wooden wife. He talked to his wooden wife, and would say, "You 
are very handsome." 

Now many hunters were passing by. They looked mto the house 
and saw a woman weaving a dancing-garment. Then some one 
said that the hunter's wife was made of wood. He told about it in 
the village. 

There were two sisters among some young men. One night their 
mother was angry with them. Therefore they ran away from their 
mother and crossed the mountains. Thej^ crossed the mountains, 
valleys, and rivers, and one day they arrived at the camp of the 
wooden wife. They looked in through a knot-hole, and there was 
a woman seated by the side of a dancing-garment, which she was 
weavmg. They wanted to ask her if she could give them food, so 
they opened the door, and the woman that was weaving turned her 
head to look at them. They stood there and asked her to give them 
a little food, but she did not pay any attention; and the yarn was 
twisted around her fingers, and she just moved her fingers. There- 
fore the elder sister said to her younger sister, "That is not a living 
being! I will go near and look." So she went near and touched her 
shoulder, and said, "Will you give us a little food, elder sister?" 
However, she felt that it was not a human being, but wood. She 
called her younger sister, and they were siirprised. Then they 
laughed at her, and they remembered what they had heard about 
the hunter's wooden wife. They hid in a corner of the house among 
the dried meat and fat. 

Soon they heard the hunter come down to his camp He 
whistled, for he was very tired because his load was heavy. He 
said to his wooden wife, "Come out, my dear, and look at this!" 
Then he said to himseK, "Not so, my dear, for my yarn is twisted 
around my fingers." Then he came in, ran to his wooden wife, and 
embraced her and kissed her, and the two young women laughed at 
him secretly. The man heard them laughing secretly. He got up and 
looked aroinid, and found the two young women who were hiding 
among the di'ied meat. He called them and spread a large grizzly- 
bear skin on one side of the house. The two young women sat down 
on the large grizzly-bear skin, and he cooked for them rich meat, 
tallow, and fat. They ate many things that night, but the yoimger 
sister was afraid to eat much. She ate only a little of each kind of 

154 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

food. The elder sister ate a great deal. She overate. At midnight 
they went to bed. 

The man spread another grizzly-bear skin for their bed; and he 
gave them fur garments. They slept soundly that night; but the 
elder sister, who had overeaten, soiled her bed early in the morning. 
The hunter arose and made a fire. lie cooked a meal for the two 
women, and then called them. The younger one arose, but the elder 
one was ashamed to get up. The man said, "Wake up, my dear, we 
are waiting with breakfast!" but she cried because she was very 
much ashamed. Then the hunter made fun of her. 

He wanted to marry the younger one. She replied, "You may 
marry me if you promise to destroy your wooden wife. " He prom- 
ised to destroy it, and she asked him to promise not to tell any one 
what had happened to her elder sister. He also said that he would 
never do so, and he also said to her, "Don't tell any one what I have 
done to the wooden figure!" and she promised not to do so. Then 
they were married. 

The young woman was better than his former wife. He taught 
her to weave dancing-garments, and she learned the art quickly, and 
she made them better than his first wife. The hunter came to be 
richer than ever. He sent his sister-in-law back to the village; and 
at the end of the next autumn they moved back to the village. 
He gave a great feast to all the people, and buOt a large house, and 
became a head chief in his generation. His new wife was a wise 
woman and kind to all the people. That is the end. 

18. Plucking Oft Eyes ' 

There was a great town, and many people lived in it. A large 
lake was behind the town, and a good trail led from the town to the 
lake. The people used to walk up to the lake to enjoy themselves — 
young and old, and also children — because there was a good sandy 
beach all around the lake. The young people would swim there — 
young men, young women, and children. 

The town had a very good chief, a very kind man, and the chief- 
tainess also was kind to all the people. Their son was a nice young 
man, whom they loved very much, because he was their only son. 
The mother had many brothers, who also loved her only son. 
This young man was as gentle as his father and his mother; and the 
prince had a young man, nice like liimseK, for his friend. They 
loved each other like brothers. Often they would sleep in one bed. 

The young man's parents were very anxious that he should marry 
one of his father's relatives; and all his uncles came and assembled 
around him, and said that he must marry the girl, as his father 
wished. However, he refused. He did not want to get married so 

' Notes, pp. 746, 7r>9. 


soon. He said he was still too young, but his parents urged him to 
marry soon. 

Now we will see what happened to this young man who did not 
want to marry. It was in the evening, when all the young people 
went home from playing on the shore of the lake. The young man 
went up along the trail behind his father's house. Before he reached 
the lake he saw a beautiful girl commg down along the trail on which 
he was walking. She looked at him and smUed, and the young man 
looked at her and also smiled. He asked her, "Where do you come 
from?" and they were both standmg side by side. Then the gu'l 
said, "I come from over yonder." The young man continued, 
"Wliich way are you going?" She said, "I am just taking a little 
walk farther down, young man." — "Shall I go mth you?" — "Yes, 
come on!" 

Thus they walked on the trail side by side, and they began to talk 
together while they were going along. Then the j'oung man said, 
"I love you. Now I want to marry you." ' The girl said, "If you 
will promise me that you will not take any wife beside myself, then 
you may marry me." The young man promised that he would not 
marry another woman beside herself, and he married her.^ Then she 
said, "Come and go with me to my house!" So they went up the 
lake. She said, "Any time you want me, shout four times, and I 
will come to take you to my house, by day or by night; but let 
nobody know what you have done, lest you die. Don't marry 
another woman!" He promised her again that he would not do it. 
The girl said again, "Don't tell any one!" Then they separated. 

This was the reason why the young man did not want to marry. 
Sometimes when lying down in the night, his friend would say to him, 
"You must do what your parents want you to;" but the prince 
always said that he was still too young to marry. His friend noticed 
that the prmce would often come in just before daylight and lie down 
again by his side, and that his body then was quite-cold and a little 

The prince had done so many times, and more than two years had 
passed this way. One night his friend made up his mind to watch the 
prince. He pretended to be asleep ; and when the prince thought that 
his friend was asleep, he arose from his bed and went out secretly. 
Then his friend arose also. He went out, and, behold! the prince 
was going along the trail behind his father's house. His friend 
followed hun secretly, and also went along the trail. The prince 
did not know that his friend was following him. As soon as the 
prince came to the shore of the great lake, he shouted, and shouted 

1 Original: N si'oplEnt, g-a'wun hasa'gaut n dEm sil-nSTcEn. 

= Original: Ninli' gan-sEm-g-a'dEt a'oskga su-p!a'sEm y!o'<»ta a dEm \va-gik-ga'o ligi-hana'ox a 
na-awa'ot: wai la ga'odi wait as nll'at a gwi'ot. 

156 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. Axx. 31 

again, while his friend was standing a Uttle farther back in the woods, 
keeping very quiet. After the prince had shouted four times, behold ! 
a beautiful girl came up from the water. She came ashore to where 
the young prince was standing, and she took him and dived with 
him to the bottom of the lake. 

After his friend had seen this, he went home and lay down again. 
Just before daylight the prince came in secretly and lay down again . 

Night came on again. When the prince was fast asleep, and his 
friend noticed that he was sleeping, he arose secretly and went up 
to the lake, stood at the same place where the prince hatl been standing 
the night before, and shouted as the prince had done. He shouted 
four times. Then the beautiful girl came up from the water. She 
went toward the young man who stood on the shore. She took him 
and plunged down to the bottom of the lake.' Then he saw a good- 
looking boy creepmg around the house. So the man took the boy 
and ran away with him; antl at mitlnight, while the prmce was still 
asleep, the friend came in with the boy. He threw him on the prince 
who was sleeping, and said, "What makes you so patient with your 

The prince awoke, and said, "You have done a great wrong. I am 
sorry for what you have done." Then they all went to sleep again. 
This child was the son of the prmce and of the woman of the lake. 
Then the child arose and plucked out the eyes of the man who had 
taken him up. He went around the house and took out the eyes of 
all the people, and strung them on a line of red-cedar bark. He 
went all around the village and took out the eyes of all the people. 

The sister of the prmce lived at the end of the village. She had 
given birth to a child a few days before, and a slave-girl was staying 
with her, taking care of the newborn child. 

Before daylight the child of the prmcess was crying on the lap of 
the slave-woman. The princess said to her, "Look after thechild!" 
Still the slave took no notice of what her mistress had said. There- 
fore the chjltl's mother took the cliihl from her. She looked at the 
slave's face, and, behold! her eye-sockets were empty. She saw the 
child creeping on the ground at the door, with a long line in his 
hand, on which the eyes of the people were strung. 

Now the father of the child which had taken the eyes of the people 
woke up, and, behold! his friend who had taken the child up from the 
lake had no eyes. The prmce went to the place where his father, 
the cliief, was sleeping, and he saw that his father had no eyes. He 
went around in his father's house, and all the people were dead, and 
their eyes were gone. He went to another house, antl there also the 
people had lost their eyes. He went on from house to house, and 

1 Original: Dat sila-na'lrtga«>. 


he found that in every house the people were all dead, then- eyes 
havmg been plucked out. 

So he went to his sister; and there he met his chUd, dragging along 
the Ihie full of the eyes of the people. The child was dragging the 
line along the street when he passed him. He went to his sister, who 
had just given birth to a child, and saw that she M'as still alive. He 
told her that then- parents were dead, and, further, that aU the people in 
the village were dead. Therefore the young man asked her to leave 
the viUage. His sister took up her own child , and they went along the 
street. Agam they met the child who was dragging along the street 
the line with the eyes. He took up the chUd, and threw away the line 
with the eyes of the people. They went together on the trail behind 
the house of the cliief, which led to the lake. The prince shouted 
four times, and, behold! the beautiful woman came up, and went 
ashore to the place where the prince was standing. When she came 
near him, he tlu-ew the child at her, and said, "Wliy didn't you take 
notice to whom you gave your child ? This child has killed every- 
body ui my viUage." 

The woman stood there silent, and the prince and the princess 
were crying. They remained there a little longer, and the woman of 
the lake felt very sad. She spoke kindly to her husband and to her 
sister-m-law. She said to her husband first, ''Come to me, my 
dear!" So the prince went near her, and she gave him gambling- 
tools. She sent him away to the south, and said to him, "Go there! 
You shall be richer than any one you meet." Then she gave him a 
set of gamblmg-sticks.' 

Then the young prince took them and went southward. He always 
shook his gamblmg-sticks, and he always won, and became richer 
than all his feUow-men, as the woman of the lake had said. 

She also called her sister-in-law to her, and gave her a garment of 
wealth. She put around her an ever-new belt, and she put the 
prmcess's own child on her back, and said to her, "Whoever meets 
you, or whoever hears your child cry, shall be richer than any one 
else." She sent her toward the northwest. The chUd was always 
crying as she went along. Therefore it is that whoever meets her 
becomes rich among the people. 

Now these two people parted. The young man went southward, 
and the young woman went northward. Then the woman of the 
lake took up her own child and went down to the bottom of the lake. 
She wept there, and at the end of her mournmg-period she came up 
with her chdd on her back. She went ashore and came down to the 
seashore. There she stood on the beach and went into the salt water. 

• These sticks they use up to this day. They split maple wood and make gambling-sticks, and they 
make them pretty. Some gambling-sticks are made of bone, some of maple. They are fifty or sixty in 
number, and each one has a mark and a name.— Henby W. Tate. 

158 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. anx. 31 

She plunged to the bottom of the sea, and left her home hi the lake, 
and went way out. She became a beuag part fish, part woman, and 
had her new home m the sea. Sometunes the people will see her 
commg up, and they caU her Haklula'q. 

19. The Spider and the Widow's Daughter* 

There was a famine among the people. There used to be famines 
because they had no nets to catch salmon, and not many people 
knew how to make salmon traps and weirs. Therefore dried salmon 
was not plentiful in winter, and many widows were djnng of starva- 
tion, and also old people and orphans. When a famine set in, the 
rich people would leave the village and move to some other place, 
scattering in every direction, without taking pity on the poor. They 
left them in the empty villages, and diseases swept the poor people 
away. Starvation and disease destroyed them all. 

So it happened to one widow, who was left in the callage when aU 
the wealthy people had moved away. She went into the woods 
behind the empty village, where a small brook ran down. There 
she made a httle hut for herself and her daughter, and every day she 
looked out of her httle hut, and saw many salmon jumping at the 
mouth of the brook. They wished to catch them, but they did not 
know how to do it. They waited for the salmon to go up the brook, 
intending to club them. 

Early every morning the widow came out of her hut and went 
down to the beach to search for something to eat. Early one morn- 
ing, on going out, she saw many salmon jumping on the water. She 
thought her daughter would soon die before the salmon would come 
up the creek. Therefore she sat down' on the bank of the brook, 

Her daughter was alone in the hut. She was in bed, and was 
starving. When the girl opened her eyes, behold ! a tall young man 
was standing at the door of the hut, who said, "I have come to 
marry you." He was a strong-looking young man. The girl was 
much surprised, and said, "Wait until mother comes in, and tell her 
what you want!" but the tail young man said, "I can not wait for 
your mother, won't you take me now?"^ The girl agreed, and he 
married her. He sai<l, "I will come again tonight." Then he left. 

Late in the evening her mother came home sorrowi'ul, but she 
noticed that her daughter looked happy. She di<l not ask the 
reason, and pretended not to notice it. At midnight the tall young 
man entered the hut. The widow did not sleep, and therefore she 
saw the door open and the taU young man enter. She saw him go 
in to her daughter, and she wondered what her daughter had done. 
Still she was afraid to speak. 

1 Notes, pp. 747, 750. 

* Original; A'lga n dEm di-hEl)u'°dEs nan; at n dEiu gnn-f;u'''ni? ada n dEm sil-na'kEn g-a'wun? 


Early the next mornLag she arose and hghted the fire. The tall 
young man asked the gu-1, "Why are you staying here?" The girl 
said, "We arc waiting for the salmon to come up the brook, then we 
intend to club them.'" He rephed, "TcU your mother to bring down 
nettles, as many as she can find." 

The girl told her mother, who went quickly to gather nettles. 
After she had tied them into bundles, she carried them down. The 
young man spread out the nettles in the hut. Then he sharpened a 
piece of hard wood and spht the nettles. He chied them in the sun; 
and when they were dry, he peeled off the outer bark. On the fol- 
lowing day he dried them again. He took three dried ribs of 
mountain goats, used them as knives to peel off the outer bark until 
the fiber remained. After the young man had peeled all the nettles, 
he showed his mother-in-law how to spin and make thread out of 
them. He spread the fiber on his right thigh with the thumb of his 
right hand, and he held the nettle fiber in his left hand with 
three fingers. Then he worked on, pushing the fiber toward his 
knee, and drawing it again back toward liis body. Thus he twisted 
the fibers into a thread. 

Now the widow had learned it, and worked aU night spinning, 
day by day, and night by night, until she had used up all the fiber 
of the nettles. Then the young man made a mesh-stick, four fingers 
wide, and as long as the palm of the hand, out of hard wood, and he 
began to net; and in three days he had used up all the thread, and 
liis net was twenty fathoms long and twenty meshes wide. 

Then he told his mother-in-law to make a good cedar-bark line of 
three cords, twenty-six fathoms longer than the net; and he took 
dry red cedar and carved floats out of it.' 

When the young man had finished the net, he went out in the 
night vnth his wife and began to fish. His net was fuU of salmon; 
and when he came home early in the morning, his canoe was full of 
silver salmon. The widow cut them aU wliile they slept, and before 
evening her son-in-law and her daughter awoke. After they had 
taken their evening meal, they made ready to go out fishing again, 
and they came home early, ■with their canoe full of silver sahnon. 
He smoked the salmon, and enlarged his mother-in-law's hut and 
made it into a large house for smoking salmon, and the large house 
was fuU of dried salmon. 

Then he built another large smoking-housc, and it also was soon 
filled. Then they tied the salmon into bundles. He buUt a third 
house, and they stored in it the bundles of dried salmon.^ When the 
large house was fuU of bundles of dried sahnon, and the sahnon were 
hanging in the other two houses, the man said to his wife, "I am 

' There were no lines at the bottom of the old nets. They had only top lines.— Henry W. Tate. 
2 There were twoscore dried salmon in one bundle. In one bundle of animal skins are only ten. — Hexry 
W. T.ME. 

160 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

going away now to my own home. I took pity on you and your 
mother. Therefore I came to show you how to make nets." The 
girl said, "I will go with you. Let my mother go to her own home." 

On the following day the young woman told her mother what her 
husband had said to her; and the widow felt very sad; yet she had 
nothing to say. The young man said, "I wiU take one bundle of 
dried salmon for you when you go," and the young woman was very 
glad to go with her husband. 

In autumn, when the leaves were falling, and all the people had 
assembled in the village, they saw that all their poor relatives had 
died of starvation. They took the bodies and burned them. The 
widow returned to the village, and the people thought that her 
daughter had died because she had been left alone. She cUd not tell 
any one that she had plenty of dried salmon. The people, however, 
tried to find out what had become of her. 

When winter came, the widow called the young men to help her, and 
they took down two large canoes and went to the place where her store- 
houses were. Then the young men went up, and saw the houses fuU 
of bundles of dried salmon. They carried them down; and when 
the two large canoes were fuU, they went home. They carried the 
buncUes of salmon up to the widow's brother's large house. On the 
following day the two large canoes went again, and both were filled 
with bundles of dried salmon. Now, the large house was quite full. 
When all the bundles of dried salmoia had been taken to the village, 
she invited her tribe to give each chief one bundle of dried salmon, 
and divided one bundle between each man and woman, and her fame 
spread among all the tribes. They came to buy good dried salmon, 
and she became very wealthy. The net, however, she did not show 
to any one. 

The young man took his wife to his home; and when the young 
woman sat down on one side of the house, a Mouse Woman came to 
her, and asked her to cast her woolen ear-ornaments into the fire. 
After the Mouse Woman had taken the burnt ear-ornaments out of 
the fire, she said, " Don't you know who married you ? " The woman 
said, "No." — "It is the Spider. He took pity on you, therefore he 
went to show you how to make a net. Don't eat their food, lest you 
die! If you take your own food, you will remain a human being; 
but if you eat theirs, you will become a spider." Thus said the 
Mouse Woman, and then she went away. 

The woman's husband showed her some more kinds of netting, and 
the following sunmier the Spider's wife went home to her mother's 
camp, and she showed her mother what she had learned in the house 
of the Spider. 

This is how the people in olden times learned how to make nets. 
That is the end. 

boas] tsimshian myths 161 

20. Prince Snail ' 

There was an old village at the northwest of Xien, and many 
people were living there. It is the same village as that in which the 
chief lived who married the Kobin Womau.^ 

A great chief lived there who had many people in his tribe. There- 
fore they were proud and high-handed. He had six sons and one 
beautiful daughter. His sons were expert hunters. Therefore their 
father was a wealthy chief. He had many slaves, males and females. 
Therefore he was proud, and every one honored him and his family. 
There were many Tsiinshian tribes, and each tribe had a chief. Some 
had one and some had two, and there were many princes in each tribe. 

Now, when the daughter of this wealthy chief was grown up to be 
a woman, another chief wanted to marry her, but her parents 
declined. All the chiefs and princes of the Tsimshian wanted to 
marry her, but the parents refused them all. They made the bed 
for the young woman above their own room. Her six brothers, her 
servant gu-1, ami her parents watched over her day by day. When night 
came, the chief himself would put a bar across the door, and all his 
slaves would go to bed. Her parents guarded her day after day and 
night after night. 

The young ^<T)man used to take a walk behind her father's house 
once a day, accompanied by one of her own maids. One day she 
wanted to take a walk with her to take some fresh au', as she was 
accustomed to do. Before she went out, she stood at the door and 
looked to the right and to the left; and when she saw some one on 
the right or the left, she would go back, until no one was to be seen 
on the street. She did so every day. 

One day she went with her maid to take fresh air; and when going 
back, before they entered her father's house, she saw a snail creeping 
along the street. So she kicked the snail out of the way with the 
tip of her toe, and said to it, "Wouldn't you like to marry me?" 
Then she went home.^ 

Every day she went to bed early, soon after she had taken her 
walk, and went up the ladder to her bed; and her parents made 
their bed at the foot of their daughter's ladder. 

Two nights had passed since the young princess had kicked the 
snail out of her way. In the following night, soon after midnight, 
the young gul felt some one touch her.^ So she turned her face toward 
him, and she saw a fine-looldng young man. She put her arms 
around him, and felt that his skin was as smooth as glass. Therefore 

1 Notes, pp. 747, 749. 

2 See p. 179. 

' Original: Ada haut dEda hatsaE'rElt, " Amuksat nE'rEiu k!u!-wa-di-hau'En ga'dEda kia'i?" 
' Oiiginal: Da la gik hS'oplElt, ga'\vun hi-kla-da'ol a'otgut, dat ga'lksa da Igu-wa'lksEga wil na'ka 
g*a'd da awa'ot. 

50633°— 31 ETH— 16 11 

162 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. axn. 31 

she loved him very much. Before dayhght the young man awoke 
and went away. 

The following night the girl went to bed as early as she was accus- 
tomed to do, and soon all the people in the house of the great chief 
lay down. Then the young man came again and staid with the girl, 
and she loved him more and more.' 

Now, the parents of the young woman did not know what was 
happening to their princess. The 3"oung man went to her four nights 
in succession; and when the fourth night had passed, the young man 
said to his beloved, "Shall I take you away from your father's house 
into my father's house, and to his large house? It is not far from 

She agreed. She forgot her pride and her father's refusal of her 
to all the chiefs of the Tsimshian, and the princes' desire to have her 
in marriage. She took only a small box and went with this young 
man, and the young man took her far away from her father's house. 
Now they reached the young man's village. He went with her into 
a large house. The young woman was a little behind her husband 
and entered after him. She looked around and saw her husband, 
who entered and walked right up to a large fire. There he lay down, 
with his back against the fire ; and she saw that a, large snail was 
there in front of the fire, as big as a whale, and another one was on 
the other side of the fire. These two large snails were the parents of 
the young man who had married the young woman. They did not 
care for the young man's new wife, and staid with their backs turned 
toward the fire. 

Then the young woman was much disappointed. She went to one 
corner of the large house and sat down without any one speaking to 
her. She sat there weeping and full of sorrow; and while she was 
weeping, she felt that some one touched her side and asked her for 
her woolen car-ornaments. Then the j'oung woman took off her 
woolen ear-ornaments, and the Mouse Woman took them. The 
Mouse Woman asked her, "Do you know these people ?" The young 
woman said, "No." Then the Mouse Woman said, "You remember 
one time when you saw a snail on your way home and 3'ou kicked 
it out of the way, and you said to the snail, 'Don't you want to 
marry me?' That is what you said when you kicked it awaj' with 
the tip of your toe. Therefore the great chief sent his son to marry 
you." After the Mouse Woman had spoken, she went away. 

Now we will go back to the young woman's own home on the 
morning when she left. When no one in the house made a noise, the 
old woman thought that her young daughter was still asleep. There- 
fore she ordered ever}' one in the house to keep quiet until her daughter 

1 Original: Adawiladi-la'Iga txan!iUi-tgu-w&'lbdawildi-nfl,'kgEsgawi-sEm'a'g'idga,daalgikgoi'dEksga 
su-pIa'sEm ylo'ota da gik wila na'ka da awa'ot, da la sEmt si'^plEntga hana'^ga. 


should awake; and all the people of the whole household were quiet 
until dusk. Then the chieftainess was afraid her daughter might be 
dead in her bed, therefore she sent up one of her maids to see what 
had happened, and the young girl went up the ladder. When she 
reached the top, behold! her bed was empty and her box was gone. 

Then the six brothers began to search through the village. Thoy 
searched in every house and on the hills, among the canoes, and the 
chief was almost in despair. He sent out canoes among all the tribes 
of the Tsimshian and inquired for the young girl, and aU the villagers 
said that they had not seen her. 

When they came back with the message telling the chief that they 
had been to all the villages and found no trace of her, the great proud 
chief and his wife were sad. The chief cried. Then he ordered his 
attendants to call all the shamans to find out what had happened 
to his daughter. Therefore the attendants sent messages to all the 
tribes of the Tsimshian; and all the shamans from aU the villages, 
male and female, assembled in the house of the great chief. , 

He paid each of them, and they took their charms and began to 
work and dance around the fire. 

The last one of the shamans was a woman. She said to the great 
chief, "My dear, be of good cheer! Your beloved daughter is still 
alive. She is in the house of Chief Snail. The son of Chief Snail 
married her, but she is disappointed, and your six sons may take her 
home." Then she pointed with her finger to the rising sun. 

The chief rewarded the woman, giving her a boy-slave. Then the 
great chief said to his six sons, "Now, my dear children, I desire you 
to purify yourselves, in order to be successful and bring back your 
only sister;" and while he was speaking these words, the tears ran 
down his cheeks, and the whole family wept with him. 

Then the young men isolated themselves for purification. When 
the days of isolation of the eldest brother were ended, he went up 
the mountains to search for his only sister, but he failed to find her. 
Wlien the days of purification of the second brother had ended, he 
went, as his elder brother had done before. He went; and he had 
not been many days among the hills and mountains, when he also 
gave up and came home. Wlien the days of purification of the third 
brother were ended, he went a little farther than his two elder broth- 
ers had gone. Wlien the days of purification of the fourth brother 
were ended, he also went, and went still farther than the elder three, 
but he did not succeed. Wlien the fifth brother's days were ended, 
he came almost to the village of the Snails; but he also failed, and 
came back home without success. 

Now the daj's of purification of the youngest brother were ended. 
He went off, taking with him his woodworking tools, and fat and 
down and red oclier and tobacco, much good food, and blue paint 

164 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

and lime of burnt clamshells, and he took two yoimg men to go 
with him and carry his provisions. 

Now he started. They went on and on day after day; and each 
evening in the camp the young man would burn something good in the 
fire, and would pray to the supernatural powers to direct him to the 
place where his only sister lived. He did so night after night. Still 
he went on, and passed all the mountains, valleys, rivei-s, and diffi- 
culties. Then they reached a great plain, and ran as fast as they 
could toward the rising sun. Finally they arrived at a gi-eat valley. 
They stood at the edge of the valley, and, behold! smoke ascended 
straight from it down below; but there were bare rocks all around 
the valley, and there was no way to descend. 

The youngest brother camped here with his company, and offered 
his burnt-offering the same evening. In the night he was thinking 
of a way to get down into the deep valley. It occurred to him that 
it must be the town to which his sister had been taken, and therefore 
he was sleepless that night. Early the next morning he arose. He 
took up his tools and started. Before he left he ordered his com- 
panions to continue to offer sacrifices. He cut down a red-cedar tree 
and shaped it in the form of a flying eagle, for this man was a wood- 
worker. When he had finished it, he took it down to the camp, and 
said to his companions, "I wUl put on this eagle and try to fly up in 
the air like a bird, for I want to reach my only sister in the village 
there." So he put on his wooden eagle that he had made. Then 
he flew up, and not very high above the ground the wings broke, and 
he fell back to the ground; therefore he broke it up and threw it into 
the fire. 

Then he went again and cut down a spruce ti-ee and made it into 
an eagle. After he had finished, he took it down to the camp. His 
two companions continued to offer sacrifices. Then the young man 
put on his eagle carving and flew up; but he did not reach very high 
when the feathers of the tail broke and he fell down to the ground. 
He broke it up and threw it into the fire and burned it. 

On the following day he went and cut down a yellow cedar. He did 
better than before; he carved an eagle, and took it down to the 
camp where his two friends were still offering sacrifices. He put on the 
eagle and flew up. He flew way up into the air; and when he tried to 
fly down again, the tips of his wings broke, and he fell rapidly down 
to the ground. He tried all kinds of wood, but failed. 

Finally he went and sat in the woods and considered what to do. 
At last he thought that if he should make an eagle from different 
kinds of light woods, he might succeed. Therefore he made the body 
out of red cedar; the head, and also the tail, of white pme; the legs 
and the beak, of yellow cedar; and the claws, of mountain-goat horn. 
He finished itj and took it down to their camp, where his companions 



continued to offer sacrifices. He put it on and flew upward, way up 
into the air. Then he flew down again and up. He did so several 
times and took a rest. His companions were stUl offering sacrifices. 
Now he ordered his two friends to go home as soon as they could. 
Therefore the two friends started, and left hun alone on the brink of 
the deep valley. Three days after his companions had left him he 
put on the eagle form that he had made and flew down into the 
vallej'. Wlien he reached the bottom, he did not see any one on the 
streets of the village. He walked down straight toward the large 
house in the middle of the village and stood by the door. Without 
looking through the door, he saw his sister sitting in one corner of 
the large house, and he also saw the large animals Ij^ng around the 
fire asleep. Then the young woman looked toward the door, and saw 
her brother standing outside. He beckoned to her, and quickly she 
arose and walked to him. Then the young man put his sister on 
his back and flew up as quickly as he could. They arrived at the 
brink of the deep valley, and started home, running as fast as they 
could. Wlienever they were weary, the young man would put on 
his eagle form and would fly in the direction toward his home. 
Wlien they reached their home, he said to his father the chief, "Now, 
father, order your people to chop down young hemlock trees and young 
spruce trees, and let them sharpen them at one end, for they will come 
to pursue us . Let the people be ready tomorrow ! " So the gi'eat chief 
ordered his slave to shout outside ; and the slave went out and shouted, 
' O people ! chop down young hemlock trees and young cedar ( ?spnice) 
trees ; ' ' and every family set ou t, and brought down many sharp young 
trees ; and the young prince told them, "Load your canoes ! " and all the 
people did as he had told them. ^Vfter they had done so, they put 
their wives and children in some canoes and sent them across to 
Beaver-Tail Island (Dmiglas Island). As soon as the women had 
gone, the people saw the Snails coming down, pursuing their daughter- 
in-law. They ran as fast as they could, and all the trees were falling 
down before them. They cut them down as a sickle cuts down the 
grass. They had the scent of the footprints of the young people. 
They were coming down from the top of Xien Mountain, and slid 
right ilown into the water, and went on swimming on the water. 
Then the chief's people went to meet them, and fought with them on 
the water. They speared them with their sharpened hemlock trees and 
sharpened spruce trees. The large animals swam right along to 
Beaver-Tail Island over the sea. Then the three large animals were 
killed there. Their fat floated all over the sea around Beaver-Tail 
Island, and the wind blew all the fat toward the dry land — the fat of 
these three large animals — and some of the fat went down to the bot- 
tom of the sea and became a kind of shellfish whose back is very hard, 
with a shell like that of an abalone, one shell joined to another all along 

166 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

the back, and the color of the body is like dark crimson.' It has no 
feet, but its under side is like that of a snaO, and it sticks to the rocks. 
At low water the natives take them off the rocks for food. Beaver- 
Tail Island is the place where they are found, and they are aboiit six 
inches long and four inches wide. 

Some of the fat of the big animals was driven to the dry land. 
Therefore small snails cover all the land on the coast, and they creep 
slowly along the ground in summer-time. This is because their 
forefathers missed the way when pursuing their daughter-in-law. In 
the warm days in summer some of the old snails go down to the 
beach when the tide is very low and stick to the rocks, and there they 
become a kind of shellfish with a hard shell on the back, which sticks 
to the rocks. This is the end. 

21. The Otter Who Married the Princess =* 

In early times many different things happened to the people who 
lived on this coast, and there are many stories among them referring 
to the time since the Deluge, when they Hved at the old town of 

There was a great chief who lived in his own viUage with his own 
tribe, in the village Q!adu' m Metlakahtla. He had a beautiful 
daughter, who refused to marry her cousin. She hated him, although 
her father was very anxious to let his nephew mairy her, for his 
nephew was to succeed to his place when he should die, but she 
refused to do so. 

In the fall aU the young women went in their canoes up to a brook 
which ran at the north side of Skeena River, called Kiyaks River, to 
gather fern roots, which they were gouig to use in winter.' 

Before evening they arrived at the camping-ground at the foot of 
a large spruce tree, which was full of leaves. •All the young women, 
went to gather firewood. The prmcess felt very chilly, for tbe sky 
was clear. Her aunt was with her at this time. They started a 
large fire, but the princess still felt chilly. They kept piUng fuel on 
the fire; and when night came on and all the stars were in the clear 
sky, the princess stUl felt chilly. 

The fire had almost gone out when a friend of the young prmce 
came to the place where the women were camping. They asked him 
where he came from, and he replied, "I came up with my friend the 
prince." Therefore the princess's aunt said to her, "Don't speak 
angrily to your cousin, for he wants to take you home tonight. Go 

1 Evidently a Chiton.— F. B. 

2 Notes, pp. 747, 751. 

s After they have been cooking one night, being steamed in the ground, they are very good to e^it. They 
taste almost like cooked turnips.— HENRY W. Tate. 


A little later the young prince came to the women's camp. He 
went toward the princess's seat and sat down by her side. She still 
feltchiUy, and the young man asked her, "Why do you f eel so chUly ? " 
She replied, "I am very cold." The prmcess was glad to have her 
cousin come, although she had refused to marry him before. Then 
the young men went up to cut firewood, and the women heard them 
knocking down dried trees for firewood, which they carried to the 
women's camp. They piled the dried wood on the fire, but still the 
young princess felt very chUly. 

One of the friends of the princess said, "I am sorry that you feel 
so chilly, I will call for rain." So he shouted for a heavy ram. He 
did so twice. He did so four times. Then clouds with pouits on 
both sides came out of the west. Rain began to fall, and there was 
a heavy rainstorm. The river of Kiyaks overflowed that night, and 
the water reached the camp. 

They searched for another densely leaved spruce tree, and soon 
they found one above their old camp-site, better than the first. 
They moved there the same night. 

The prmce said, "I wiU go back home before daylight," and asked 
the princess, "Will you go back with me, my dear cousin ? " She did 
not say a word to him; but her aunt said, "My dear, go with your 
cousin, lest you get sick, for you stiU feel chilly." Then the gu'l said, 
"Yes, I wUl go home with him." 

After midnight the young man said to his companion, "Let us go 
back home now!" Then the young princess went aboard the canoe, 
and the friend of the young man made a bed for them in the canoe. 
"Now lie down there, lest you get wet!" They lay down, and he 
spread mats of cedar bark over them. They went down the rivei', 
and the jirmce's friend paddled along. 

Now the gui felt something moving on the mat. When they 
arrived on shore, the prince's friend said, "We have arrived on the 
beach." She arose, and, behold! they had reached a strange countiy. 
They went up to a house, and many people were m the large house. 
Before she went in, she looked back at the canoe. It had become a 
drift-log. She went m, and her mother-in-law spread a mat by tlie 
side of the fire. They sat down there. Then the chief said to his 
relatives, "Go and boU some fresh halibut!" Then the Mouse 
Woman came to her, and said, "Throw your ear-oniaments nito the 
fire!" The prmcess did what the Mouse Woman asked. Then the 
Mouse Woman asked the princess, "Do you know these people?" 
She replied, "No." Then the Mouse Woman said, "This is the Otter 
prince, who has married you because you refused to marry your 
cousin. Therefore his father has sent his son to take you. Now 
do not eat any of the food that they give you first, but the second 

168 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

kind of food that they offer you yovi may eat, for it is fit for you." 
She did as the Mouse Woman had told her. 

She staid there quite a long while.' After a while the young 
woman was with child ; and before the time had come to give birth 
to the child, the Mouse Woman came to her again, and said to her, 
"When you feel that you are about to give birth to the chUd, tell 
your mother-in-law!" and when the young woman felt that the time 
had come, she told her mother-in-law. Then her mother-in-law said, 
"Cast this woman out! Turn her out!" She put both her hands in 
front of her eyes, and the prmcess's husband threw her out of the 

The young woman crept to the foot .of a tree on the island; and 
while she was sittmg there, a little Otter was born. After a wliUe the 
Mouse Woman came to her, and said, "I sliall bring you a fire." She 
went and brought her a fire. Then the woman started a fire. She 
gathered bark that had fallen from a tree. After three days had 
passed she felt better. She took the little Otter and threw him into the 
water. Then the little Otter swam ashore and crept to liis mother. 
She took him agam and threw him into the water, and the little Otter 
swam ashore agam. She took him once more and threw him mto the 
water. Again he swam ashore. Then she took coni];)assion on the 
little Otter. She took him back and wi'apped him in j>art of her 
marten garment, and she cried bitterly. 

She staid there a while; and wheiT she felt better, she gathered 
firewood. When the little Otter had grown up, he came one day to 
his mother, and asked, "Shall I bruig you somethmg to eat?" The 
mother agreed, and so the followuig mornmg the Otter went out. He 
brought two little bullheads to her. She cried agam, and said to 
her Otter child, "Wlien you bring me things to eat, bring me some 

Early the following morning the little Otter went out agam to get 
food, caught a large crab, and gave it to his mother. She cooked it 
on the fire and ate it. Every mornmg the little Otter went for his 
mother to get food, and brought all kinds of fish — halibut, devilfish, 
red cod, and other kinds. 

One morning the Mouse Woman came to her and pointed out to 
her that way off on the other side of the island her father's tribe was 
not far away from her. The Mouse Woman continued, "You must 
kUl all these people who cast you out of the house. Close the three 
holes on the sides of the gi-eat otter den, and leave the main hole 
open; and after you have closed the three holes, take as many yellow- 
cedar leaves as you can find, bulhushes, and fragrant leaves, put 
them in front of the mam entrance, and burn them, so that the 

■Original: Da nAgA lu-tla'dEt a tslEm-gwi'ot. Ada txanii gamk n-sE-nlai'duksa hana'^at,txanli 
lu-walt ligi-walt ksE'rEsdEt a giliMgEt a walb. Ada sEm-n-liba'sEt a gwai n-sE-nlai'duksa liana 'gat. 


smoke will enter the den. Then make two or three clubs, and as 
soon as you see the otters come out of the den, club them. I will 
help you." 

On the following day the young woman did as the Mouse Woman 
had told her. She took stones and logs and put them against the 
three holes on the sides of the den. On the following day she said 
to her Otter child, "My dear, I wish you to go early m the morning 
to get food for me." So very early in the mornmg the Otter went. 
Then she began her work, and set fire to the leaves, so that the 
smoke entered the den. Then her husband came out first, and the 
Mouse Woman said to her, "This is your husband." She clubbed 
him. Then aU the Otters came out of the den, and she clubbed 
them. But the Otter chief and his wife did not come out, and many 
died in the den. At last these two large Otters came out, and she 
clubbed both of them. 

As soon as she had killed aU of them, the little Otter came home, 
and asked her, "What is that smoke?" The mother told him that 
it was the smoke of her little fu-e. He replied, "No, it is not so. I 
have seen all the Otters killed on the beach." Therefore the mother 
said, "Yes, I kiUed them all because they cast me out before I gave 
birth to you. Only one good old woman took pity on me and gave 
me a fire. Therefore I am stiU alive, and you, too, for without her 
we both of us should have died." Then the little Otter was very 

Now, I will go back to the women who were camping at Iviyaks 
River. The prmcess's aunt was greatly troubled after the princess 
had gone. In the morning she said to her companions, "Let us go 
home today instead of digguig fern roots!" So they started for 
home in the evening. They arrived at home, and asked if the 
princess had come home safe the precedmg night. The people 
replied that the chief's nephew had been at home the whole day. 
Then the woman told the people what had happened to them in 
camp — how the prmce with his friend had come up and taken the 
princess home with them before daylight. 

Therefore the great chief was full of sorrow, for he had lost his 
young daughter. He called all the shamans from aU the villages of 
the Tsimshian; and after they had fiiiished theu- dancing, they said 
that the princess was in the otter den on an island away out at sea. 
Therefore the chief knew that he had no power to take her back, and 
he wept for her sake -wath his wife. 

One day the little Otter said to his mother, "Shall I go and visit 
my grandfather?" His mother described to hmi where his grand- 
father's house was. She dii-ected him to the second village m the 
entrance to Metlakahtla Chamiel. She continued, "But don't go 
there, lest you die on the sea, and then there will be nobody to take 

170 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. Ann. 31 

care of me!" The little Otter, however, said that he would be back 
safe. Earty one mornuig he went; and in the afternoon he came 
back to his mother, and told her that he had looked in and seen his 
grandfather in a large house. Then he said to his mother, "I will 
carry you across the sea." This made his mother very sad. 

After three days the little Otter said to his mother, "Early 
tomorrow morning I will carry you across to the mainland!" and 
she said, "No, my dear child, we shall both die on the sea;" but the 
little Otter said, "No, I shall take you over there." Early the 
followmg morning he went down to the beach, and said to his mother, 
"Take some gravel!" His mother did so. Then the little Otter 
said, "Come, mother, and sit dowii on my back!" His mother cried 
as she sat down on his back, and the little thmg swam across the sea; 
and when he was tii-ed, he would float on the water; and after he had 
taken strength, he would go on swimming. 

When he came near the shore, he said to his mother, "Drop some 
of the gravel that you are carryhig!" She dropped it, and it became 
a sandbar, on which they rested. His mother refreshed herself on 
the sandbar. Then the little Otter started again, and swam some 
distance, until he was weary again, because he had been swimming 
a long way. He said again, "Drop some more gravel here!" She 
did so, and there was another sandbar, on which they rested a while. 

The little Otter said again, "Give me some of the gravel!" She 
gave it all to him, and he said, "Now follow me! I will make a 
sand bridge from this island to the mainland." She walked behind 
her son the Otter, and they both walked over the sandbar. There- 
fore there are now sandbars a little outside of the entrance to Met- 
lakahtla Charmel. 

Ijate in the evening they arrived on the mainland when it was low 
water. Agam he carried his mother on his back and took her to his 
gi'andfather's house. It was low water, and many women and young 
men were out digging clams and cockles. They arrived at a little 
place called K-dani. His mother said, "Don't go near them lest they 
kiU you!" but he did not care for what his mother said, and went to 
some of the women. They saw him coming, and shouted, "See the 
little Otter!" They ran after him to club hhn: but he ran away 
from them, came to his mother, and she took him in her arms and 
went into her father's large house. 

Her father had always been thinking of her ever since he had lost 
her. He was sitting by the fire with his back toward the fu-e. Then 
she came in and walked along the highest platform in the house. 
Her father saw her go into her own old bedroom. Then the chief 
said to his wife, who was seated by his side, in a whisper, " I see some 
one who looks like my own daughter going into her old bedroom. 
Go and see if it is true!" So the chief's wife went into the bedroom 



of her daughter who had been lost a year ago, and she saw her 
daughter there. Therefore the chieftainess cried; but her daughter 
said, "It is I, mother! Don't cry, and let the people hear you!" 

All the people assembled that night, and she told her storj-; and 
she also said that her child had brought her across; and she showed 
them her chOd, the little Otter. 

On the foUowmg morning the little Otter went out and brought a 
large halibut, which he put down on the beach. Then he came in 
and told his mother that he had brought a halibut for his grand- 
father. The princess said to her father, "Send some slaves down to 
the beach, for my child placed a large halibut there for you." There- 
fore the chief sent down his slaves. They went, and brought a large 
halibut. The chief was very glad, and he loved his grandchild, 
because he had brought liLs daughter back. 

The following day the little Otter brought two halibut to his 
grandfather. So the chief mvited the men of liis own tribe, and told 
them not to hurt his grandchild the Httle Otter if they should see 
him outside the village, and his tribesmen obeyed. Now, the little 
Otter brought more fish and other animals every day, and the chief 
gave a gi-eat feast to all the Tsimshian tribes. Only one tribe was 
not present at the feast. And he spoke to all his fellow-chiefs and 
all the tribes, and told them that they should not hurt his gi-andchild 
when they saw him on the water; and he showed them the little 
Otter, saying, "This is my grandchild, who brought the food which 
I served to you, my guests." All the chiefs were very glad because 
they had eaten fresh fish — halibut, seal, sea lion, whales, and so on; 
and the Otter would bring all these animals and all kinds of fish. 
Therefbre his gi-andfather the chief was very lich in goods and pro- 
visions, for everybody came to buy food from him durmg the famine 
of winter. 

It was in the same winter, before the people went up to Nass River 
for fishmg. Early one morning the Otter went around the island 
where the seals were lying on the rocks; and after he came back, 
havmg slain the seals on the rock, he killed one great seal on his way 
back home; and while the Otter took this large seal in his mouth, 
four hunters in a canoe came along, and they hit the Otter who had 
the gi-eat seal in Ms mouth. The bowman shot him and took the large 
seal from his mouth and threw away the little Otter. 

When the Otter did not come back for two days, his grandfather 
missed him. Then he sent a canoe with young men to mquhe in 
every village if they had seen Prince Otter; but the people said, "No." 
At last they came to the village of one chief, the one whom they had 
not invited when the grandfather of Prince Otter had invited aU the 
tribes and chiefs to his great feast. They inquired there, and the men 
of the tribe said that three days ago they had killed an otter which 

172 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

held a large seal iii its mouth; and these men in the canoe said that 
that Otter was their prmcc, the son of a great prmcess-, and the people 
m the village told them that they had not known about it.^ 

After they had found out who had killed Prince Otter, they went 
home and told the chief. The mother of Prince Otter fainted on 
account of her deep sorrow, for she had lost her beloved one who 
carried her across the sea and saved her. So the princess died of 
sorrow. And the other chief came to the gi'andfather of Prince Otter 
with his people and many costly things — costly coppers, slaves, 
canoes, elk skins, and so on — to atone for Prince Otter, whom they 
had killed a few days before; and the grandfather of Pi-ince Otter 
was fidl of deep sorrow because his daughter had died. 

This is the reason why the people were afraid to leave girls alone 
in the woods, because the bad Otter might deceive them. 

22. The Widow and uer Daughter^ 

There was a poor widow in a Tsimshian tribe who had a young 
daughter. All the people moved from the old village of Metlakahtla, 
gomg to Nass River for the fishing-season. Then a strong wind blew 
agahist the canoes. They could not go ahead on account of the 
north wind, which blew against them. They camped oft«n, and this 
widow and her young davighter could not go on at all. They were 
left way behind the canoes, but they were still going on; and after 
all the canoes had left her behind, she camped at the foot of a high rock 
on a camping-ground. While they were in camp there, there was a 
severe storm durmg the night. They built a hut to shelter themselves 
during the stormy nights and days. 

The first night when they were in camp the widow slept on one side 
of the 'fire, and her daughter lay down on the other side of the fire. 
At midnight some one came in to the place where the young woman 
was, and touched her, and said, "Shall I marry you ?" and the young 
woman agreed ; ^ and when the man came to her, she felt that some- 
thing stung her body. Before daylight he went out agam. The 
storm increased day by day, and the man came every night, and the 
young woman felt something like nettles stmging her body. 

Every morning they found a partridge at her mother's door, and 
there was always sufficient fuel for them. One night when he came 
to her, he said, "We shall have a son, and he shall bo a great hunter. 
There shall be no one like him, neither before nor hereafter, and I 
shall always be with him." 

1 This is the reason why the people made great feasts when a chief's child was born and received a name 
to let everybody know about it.— Hekry W. Tate. 

= Notes, pp. 747,750. 

3 Original: "DEm ni'konut a awa'nt dzE g-a'wiin?" Ada gl'onsgA su-p!a'sEm hana'^aasnli'atga a 
nE-st4'kst, ada hi-n4'ka su-p!a'sEm ylo'ofa a awa'nt. 


On the following morning it was perfectly calm. The widow 
went on to Nass River, and arrived there the same day when the fish 
arrived; and after the people had done their work of fishing, they 
moved back to the old village of Metlakahtla. 

After they had been there a while, they moved to Skeena River 
for salmon fisliing. The M-idow alwa^'s had good success with the 
salmon and the berries she dried; and in the fall they moved down 
to the old town for the wmter season. 

Now, when the time came, the young woman gave bhth to a boy, a 
good-lookmg boy; and when the chUd was growing up, she went into 
the woods to get more fuel. There she met a young man, who said 
to her, "I came to visit you and my son. How is he?" — "Oh, he is 
a strong and fine boy." He said again, "When he comes to be a 
youth, do not give him too much to eat, but give him often devil's-club,' 
and let hun chew some of the mner bark of devQ's-club, and let him 
blow this in his hands, and let him rub it over his body after washmg, 
and do not pass the place where I came to you first. I shall be w'ith 
him, and he shall be a successful hunter in the future, and I wiU show 
him how to set traps and how to snare animals. Do not let him 
marry soon, when he is too young. Keep liim unmarried."^ 

After he had said so, he went away. Then the young woman went 
back home, carrying dry wood for the fire. 

Now, the child grew iip rapidly and became a skillful hunter. One 
time he went to the mouth of Nass River with four of his friends, and 
they camped at the same place where his mother had camped on her 
way to Nass River when the young man had come to her on that 
stormy night. Wliile liis companions lighted a fire, this young man 
went into the woods; ahd when he went into the thick forest, he saw 
a man coming down in front of him, who said, "Are you my son?" 
The young man was surprised at the words of the stranger. He stood 
there without speaking. The man who met him said again, "I am 
your father. I have come down to talk to you." The young man 
rephed, "Then speak, father!" — "I will teach you how to obtain 
valuable animals by trapping them without shootmg them," and he 
made a little trap. He showed him how to make it, and also how to 
make snares and how to bait wooden traps and skin snares; and he 
told hun how many days he would have to observe taboos, and how 
many days he would have to fast and to wash. He continued, "And 
you shall eat the bark of devil's-club; and m the night, after you 
have counted four days, you shall wash on the bank of a brook and 
dive in the brook. You shall not wash your body for twelve months; 
then you shall dive m the stream twelve times, and every time after 

1 Devil's-club ( Fatsia honida), one of the most powerful "medicines" of the Tsimshian. — F. B. 
- Original: Ada gila' m dzE dilt m dzE na'ksEnt; a d2E asi gaI-su-p!a'ost dzE guligulam dEm 
wa-dzagEm gi'd a hana'ogat. 

174 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

doing so you shall go in to a woman. Then you shall get everything 
you want; but do not get married as long as you want to get riches, 
lest she be not true to you and you have bad luck. Do not marry 
soon, lest she be unfaithful! Count your days in months and years, 
and you shall be blessed ; but if you lust for woman's beauty, you shall 
be poor. I will meet you once more." Thus spoke his supernatural 
father, and then he vanished from his sight. He did not see him 
any more.^ 

The young man went back to his companions' camp. On the fol- 
lowing morning they went hunting, and he killed a great many ani- 
mals. He did all that his supernatural father had told him, and all 
the animals of the woods heard that the young man was a very good 
hunter, and he was very successful. He made traps and snares for 
foxes and martens, and traps for grizzly bears and black bears, and 
so on; and every time he went out to look at his traps and snares, 
each trap and each snare had caught an animal, and he became richer 
than any one else. 

Now another year came.- Then the time of observmg the taboos 
was ended, and he went up to set his traps and snares, and he made 
some more; and after he had fuiished he went home. After four 
days he went out again to see if anything had been caught, but there 
was nothmg. All his traps had fallen and his snares had been broken. 
The bait had been eaten out of the traps by the mice. He repaired 
them all and renewed the bait. He spent two days working, and 
then he finished and went home very sad. 

After four days he went up again, and he found nothing. All the 
traps and snares had been broken and the bait was gone. He repaired 
them and renewed his bait. He worked hard and went home full of 
disappomtment. Early the next mornmg he went into the woods, 
looking for devil's-club, but he did not fuid any. Late in the evening 
he came back home; and after he had washed his body, he went up 
a little hill, and, behold! there was a large tree. He went toward it; 
and before he reached the foot of the largo tree, a supernatural being 
came around to meet him. When he saw him, he said, "Is that 
you, my son ? Tomorrow you shall cut down this large tree, which 

1 Full version of this paragraph: 

"AdadEmgani mwuIagA'ba w&mst na-ksr\vut. Ada dzE lalu-h6i'g'iga na-sa'^nt wadi-txas-a'°tk, da 
dEm la'xsEnt a q!ala-tslEm-hu'ts!Egat. Ada dEm ara-lu-mai%sguii a sga-bu'odEt. Ami dzE wa-la'xsEn 
a txama'n, am dzE da gu'plEll g-a'mgun, da dEm lu-ma'^ksgimt a tslEm-a'ksEt a kpi"! da gu'plEl dEm 
want. Adr m d£m txal-ga' hana'gat a s^a-bu'dEt. Ks-ga'ga dEm lu-ma'ksgun dam dEm gik txal-g4' 
hana'gat. dzE lawul'am-ya'on a tslEm-a'ksEt. KpW da gu'plEl dEm lu-ma'ksgun a tslEm-a'ksEt. Ada 
kpM da,, u'plEl m dEm txal-g&' hana'gat a txas-a'tk. Adaligi-lEpla'batxan!i-g4'dEm ha'osagau. Y!agai 
gila' dzE na'ksEu a sga-na'k'dzE ha'^sagan a dzE ama-wa'^n, op dzEt la-wila'">gut, ada dzE al la-he'tgun. 
GilS.' dzE diit na'ksEn. DEm li'tsxEn sa'otga, ga'mgEt, ligi-k!a'l. Ada dsm gap-sEm-wi-bEbu'ont. 
Ylagait ami' dzE a lu-dza'gEm g^'odEn a hana'gat ama-p!a'SEt, da dEm gap-ga-gwa'-int; gimga(?) 
KlE'rEl n dEm gik txal-wa'on." Gwai hau'sga nEgwa'dEm nExn6'xt, da sa-dzi'opt. A'IgEt ni'st. 

2 The season for hunting Is in the fall; and the spring of the year was also a hunting-season, when the 
fur of the animals is very thick.— Henry W. Tate. 


will last you throughout youi' lifetime." ^\iter he had said this, he 

The young man went home, and early the next mornuig he went 
and found the large tree. He went toward it, and, behold! there was 
a devil's-club tree larger than any other tree in the whole world. 
He took his stone ax and felled the great devil's-club tree; and after 
it was down, he took all the sap and bark; and when he had collected 
it, he carried it down to his town and piled up the bark in his little 
hut behind his house. Then he started to wash his body with the 
bark of the devil's-club and its sap, and he ate some to purify him- 
self. He did so for forty days, and at the end of forty days he went 
huntmg again. He repaired all his traps and snares. He went along 
for four days repau-ing his traps and snares; and on his way back 
from repairing his traps and snares, behold ! a great Wolverene had 
thrown the traps and snares out of their places. 

Therefore the son of the Devil's-Club Tree pursued him, and the 
Wolverene ran as fast as he could; but the son of the Devil's-Club Tree 
ran faster; and when the great Wolverene was exhausted, he climbed a 
large tree, and the man who pursued him stood at the foot of the large 
tree on which the great Wolverene was sitting. The young man was 
about to shoot him, when he asked the Wolverene, "Did you break my 
traps and my snares ? If you don't answer me now, I shall shoot 
you!" The great Wolverene remained silent. The young man asked 
again, "Did you destroy all my traps and snares which I repaired so 

Then the Wolverene began to cry. The young man said, "Answer 
me, or I shall shoot you! It is no use crying." Therefore the Wol- 
verene had to say, "Yes, I did break your traps and snares." Then 
the young man said, "Will you give to me as many animals as I have 
lost through you ?" Wolverene did not want to answer the question. 
He was stiU crying. "Tell me how you became so great and suc- 
cessful in huntmg! If you tell me, then I will let you go; if not, then 
I shall kiU you." Then the Wolverene said, "I shaU tell you, and you 
must let me go." Wolverene said, "I use devil's-club bark in my 
bath every morning, and I eat some." 

The young man stood there ; and when the Wolverene had spoken, 
he ran down from the tree laughing. So the young man pursued 
him; and when Wolverene was tired and weary, he climbed another 
tree; and the young man who pursued huu came to the foot of the 
tree and asked him, and said, "Tell me what makes you so successful! 
Tell me quickly, or I shall shoot you!" Then the Wolverene said, 
"You shall eat the roots of the floating plants with their leaves." 
Again the Wolverene ran down from the tree laughing, and the young 
man pursued him. 

176 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Soon the Wolverene was tired out, and climbed another tree. The 
young man stood at the foot of it, and said, "If you don't teU me the 
truth this time, I shall shoot you right off ! " Therefore the Wolverene 
was very much troubled, and said, "I shall let you know my secret. 
You must eat a small piece of blue hellebore root; and when you 
bathe in the morning, use the hellebore roots to rub your body with. 
Then you will be successful." But the young man did not believe 
what the Wolverene told him, and said, "I don't believe what you 
tell me now. Tell me the truth, or I shall kill you right away!" 

Then the Wolverene said, "You must take skunk-cabbage roots 
and eat a little of them, and use some when you bathe, and rub them 
over your body, as you did with the hellebore roots." 

The young man had not much confidence, but he let him go once 
more. As soon as Wolverene had run a little distance, he began to 
lai:gh again. 

Now, the young man pursued him agam. He ran faster than the 
Wolverene, so the Wolverene ran up a tree, and the young man 
spanned his bow and had his arrow ready m his hand. He pointed 
the arrow at the Wolverene without saying a word to hun. Now, he 
said, " I shall shoot you right now. " But the Wolverene said, "Wait, 
I shall tell you!" but the young man would not listen. He said, 
"I shall not wait any longer, because you have made fun of me three 
times." Then the great Wolverene said, "You shall have my 
secret now. It is the rotten fern (or qialu'>gAn 9)." Then the Wolver- 
ene began to cry, "Rotten fern!" and he went his way cryuig until 
his voice was lost. 

Now, the young man went and rcpahed his traps and snares, and 
he made many new traps and snares, and he went and searched for 
some rotten fern (or qidlu°gAn ?). He found some and ate some; and 
he used some while bathing in the morning, as the Wolverene had 
told him; and he came to be a great hunter, more successful than 
he had been before; and when he went to see his traps and his 
snares, behold ! every one had caught a marten or mink or weasel, and 
many other good animals. He did so the whole year round, and in 
the spring he built bear traps, and snares for grizzly bears, and traps 
for wolverenes and wolves and all other kmds of animals, and he 
became richer and richer. Many j)rincesses wanted to marry him, and 
many times he gave a great feast to the people because he was very 
rich. He remained an expert hunter. 

Finally he married one of his uncle's younger daughters, and after 
many days his wife had a little son. When the boy grew up, he 
heard the people say outside, "There is a white she-bear coming down 
on the ice of the Skeena River!" and the son of Devil's-Club Tree 
took his spear and ran down. He saw the white she-bear coming 
down the river on the ice; but before he was able to thi-owhis spear, 



the white she-bear kicked the ice, and the man was drowned. The 
white she-bear was ahnost drowned too, but she succeeded in reach- 
ing the bank. The man went under the ice and died there. 

23. The Mink Who Married a Princess ' 

In olden times many animals married women, and so it was with 
this young woman. Her ])arents did not want any one to marry her. 
Although all the princes wanted to have her, they would not agree. 

One night they went to bed, and some one came to the place where 
the princess was sleeping. He woke her, and said, "May I stay with 
you tonight?" She said, "Yes." And so the young man remained 
with her. Before daybreak the young man said, "Shall I take you 
to my house ? " and the young woman said, "Yes, of course ! " There- 
fore he took her in his canoe, and they left her home, Metlakahtla. 
He said to his wife, "Lie down in the canoe!" and the young woman 
did what her husband said. He paddled the whole night. Then 
he came in front of his house. He said, "Now, my dear wife, wake 
up and go into my house ! " So the young woman arose, and she went 
with him into a mink's den. 

Now, the young woman's heart was sorry on account of what she 
had done, for she knew now that her husband was a Mink. She was 
always crying. Every morning the Mmk went fishing and brought 
many eels, which he cauglit under the small rocks. He strung the 
eels on cedar twigs, and carried them up to his den, where his wife 
was. She would not eat anything, but just chewed fat. 

Every morning, very early, the Mmk went and brought home one 
or two struigs of eels. He dried them in the smoke; and every time 
he came home he counted his dried eels. He brought fresh ones, and 
hung them also in the smoke to dry. Wlien the young woman saw 
tliat her husband always counted his dried eels, one morning while 
her husband was away, she took the eels down and hid them ; and as 
soon as the Mink came home with another string of eels, he looked 
for his dried eels, and they were all gone. 

He scratched his head, and said, "I don't know what has become 
of all my dried eels. Maybe I ate them, I don't know! Oh, no! 
for my stomach is not full." He was afraid to ask his wife, for fear 
of making her angry. Therefore he said to himself, "Perhaps I ate 
them all ! Oh, no ! my stomach is not full. " Then the yoimg woman 
began to laugh, and he said, "Oh, how foolish these human bemgs 
are! What will they have to eat during the cold wdnter, when the 
snow is on one side of the trees! How foolish they are!" 

The young woman was laughing about the words that her husband 
spoke to himself . "Oh, yes!" said he, "maybe I ate them all, ate, ate, 
ate! Oh, no! for my little stomach is not full. How foolish people 

1 Notes, pp. 747, 762. 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 12 


arc ! Wliat will they eat in the cold winter, when the snow is on one 
side of the trees!" Then the young woman laughed aloud, and said, 
"Oh, you funny fellow! I hid your dried eels in the corner. Go 
tliere and get them!" Mink went and got them and hung them in 
the smoke. He was glad, and said to his dear wife, "My dear wife, I 
am sorry to trouble you about the dried eels, but I did not mean you, 
I just talked to myself." 

Now, the time came when the people moved to Nass River to fish 
for olachen. One day the sun shone, and the young woman said, 
"Let us take a walk and sit on the point yonder! There we shall see 
the canoes passmg by." They went there, and sat down behind a 
log. The canoes passed by the place where they were sitting. Mink 
saw some people wearing white bone ornaments in their ears and in 
their noses.' 

Mink saw tliat it looked very well, and he said, ''My dear wife, 
what are these white things in the ears of your people?" — "They are 
bones." — "But why do they do it?" She replied, "Because they 
want to show that they are of my rank." Mink said, "Can you do 
the same to me ? " — "Oh, yes ! I will if you want me to. " Mink said, 
"How do they make the holes in the ears?" — "You must sharpen a 
hard spruce branch, and then I will do it for you." — "Yes, my dear 
wife, I want it very much. You must do it with a sharp branch 
tomorrow. " 

On the following morning Mink went and got a spruce branch. He 
took it home and sharpened it. The young woman said, "Sharpen 
both ends." Miiak did as his wife told him; and when he had done 
so, he gave the branch to his wife. The young woman said, "Are 
you ready now?" — "Yes, I am ready," said he. Then the young 
woman took the sharpened branch, and asked, " TMiere is your stone 
hammer ? " Mmk gave it to her. "Now lie down on the ground, and 
I will drive this sharp branch tlirough your ears." Mink lay dowm 
on the ground, and said, "My dear wife, I am afraid I shall die." — 
"Oh, no!" said the young woman, "you will not die. The people 
shall know that you are of my rank. It will not hurt you, but my 
father's people will like you. " Therefore he lay down on the ground. 
The young woman took the spruce branch in one hand, and the stone 
hammer in the other. She said, "Close your eyes!" — "No," said he, 
"I'm afraid, I'm afraid!" said he. Then the woman said, "ThenI shall 
leave you and go home to my father." Now, Mink lay down on the 
ground, his one ear up, and the other down on the ground. "Close 
your eyes!" said the woman. He closed his eyes, and the young 
woman took the sharp branch and drove it into his ear and fastened 
it to the gi'ound. Mink died there, and the young woman went back 
to her father's house. 

1 It was the custom to wear bones in holes made through the ears and the nose. — Henry W. Tate. 

boas] tsimshian myths 179 

24. The Chief who Married the Robin and the Sawbill Duck ' 

In olden times, long ago, the people of this coast used to marry 
animals, birds, frogs, snails, mice, and so on. So it happened with 
one great chief. His ^nllage was at the northwest side of Xlen 
Island, and his tribe consisted of many people. He had no wife. 
His people assembled several times, and tried to find a woman to be 
liis wife. Then the chief said to them, " If you brmg me a woman of 
the Robm tribe, I wiU marry her; and if you will bring me a woman 
of the Sawbill Ducks, I will marry her." 

Then the people of his tribe had a great meeting to talk over these 
matters. Some of his wise men took counsel, and chose hunters to 
search for the two women whom the chief wanted to marry. There- 
fore the hunters fasted; and after their fasting, some went up the 
mountains, and others went out to sea. 

Those who went up the moiuitains reached a large plam, where 
they saw a large village, and they went toward it. When they came 
near, they saw young people walking up and down on the street. 
They seemed ver}^ happy, and they were good to look at. They were 
young men and young women. WTien they saw the hunters coming 
to their \'illage, some young men ran in and told the people and also 
their chief, who invited the strangers into his house. They spread mats 
at the side of the chief's large fire, and immediately they sat down. 

Then some one touched the side of one of the hunters. It was the 
Mouse Woman. She said, "Do you know whose village this is?" 
He said, "No." Then the Mouse Woman said, "This is the village 
of Robin, and this is the house of their chief. He has a beautiful 
daughter, whom her father wiU let you have to be your chief's wdfe 
if you promise htm to take good care of her." After Mouse Woman 
had spoken, she went away. 

Now, the chief said to his attendants, "Get ready for these men 
who have come to visit us. Prepare good food for them." Then 
his men roasted a good dried sprmg salmon, put it into a dish, and 
placed it before the hunters, who ate of it. After that they gave 
them fat meat of mountam goats and all kinds of fresh berries. 
Late in the evening, after they had eaten, the head men of the 
hunters said to the chief, "You are a great chief, and we are glad to 
see the riches m your great house. We have come from very far 
to visit you ; for we have heard of the fame of your wealth, which we 
see now, and part of which we have tasted. Our poor chief has sent 
us to you, for he wants to have your daughter to marry her. We 
mil honor her, and she shall be the greatest chieftainess in our 
village and among all the Tsimshian tribes. We shall do all we can 
for her." 

1 This story resembles in style the Kwakiuli stories (see p. IOC). — Notes, p. 759. — F. B. 


After he had spoken, the chief of Robm's attendants spoke: 
"Indeed, chief, my chief heard what you said to liim. Tomorrow 
he will invite his tribe, and will tell his people what you ask for, 
and the day after tomorrow they will decide." Two daj^s passed, 
and then the people of the village assembled. Their cliief said to 
the visitors, "Friends, I am glad that you have come here, and that 
you want to take my daughter to be your chief's wife. My wise 
men and aU my people have decided that you shall take her to your 
chief. I understand that you promise to take good care of her, 
which I hope you will do. I wish that my daughter and the young 
chief might come to visit me m the winter to get provisions. At 
present I send her with you empty-handed. That is what my 
people desire and what they have decided in this matter. At present 
I just give her two small root baskets — one filled with fresh meat 
and fat, and the other filled with various kinds of fresh berries." 

The hunters started homeward. They did not know the way, 
but the young Robin Woman led them. They walked down, and 
passed many mountains and many valleys and rivers. They traveled 
on many days ; and they reached home late in the fall, bringing with 
them a beautiful young woman. 

The young chief was very glad to see the beautiful young woman. 
The hunters gave the girl to him to be his wife. So the chief received 
her. He loved her very much. 

The head man of the hunters opened one of the small root baskets 
and took out the fresh meat and fat. He put it on the mats which 
were spread in front of the chief and his new wife, and the meat and 
fat filled one end of the house. Then the head hunter took the other 
root basket and took out the various ripe berries, which he put into 
a cedar box. When the chief saw these thmgs, he was very glad, 
and invited liis whole tribe in. After the people had eaten, they said 
to their chief, "O chief! you ought to invite in all the tribes to show 
them your new wife, and they shall be happy with you." 

The chief consented, and sent his messengers to all the different 
tribes around his village, asldng the chiefs of the different tribes to 
assemble in his village two days later to take part in the wedding 

All the chiefs had a very happy time, at the end of which they 
weni; to their own homes in their canoes, which were loaded with 
meat and fat and aU kinds of berries. They were all talking about 
the young princess who was now the wife of the young chief. 

Now we will turn to the other woman, the Sawbdl-Duck Woman. 
I said before that some hunters went in their canoes; and as they 
went along the seashore, when they came around the point, they saw 
a young woman walking along the sandy beach. Her braided hair 


was hanging down her back, and was ornamented with beautiful 
white shells. 

The head man of the hunters wanted to go and take her for their 
chief to be his wife. So they went ashore. The head man went 
toward her and sat down with her on the beach. The man told her 
that his chief wanted her to marry him. Then the Sawbill-Duck 
Woman consented. He took her to the canoe, and they went home, 
where they arrived a few days before the other himters came. 

The chief was still waitmg until the others came home. He 
waited for a long while, and finally those who had taken Princess 
Robin came home. Then the young chief loved the Robin Woman 
more, for she was more beautiful than the SawbiU-Duck Woman. 

After the chief had given his great feast, he kept the two women as 
his wives, but he loved the Princess Robin most. Now, winter-time 
came, and food began to be scarce. Then the young Robm Woman 
remembered her father's words which he had spoken to the hunters 
when they took her away. 

One night she said to her husband, "My dear, I remember my 
father's words wliich he said before your messengers took me from 
his house. He said that he wanted you to send two large canoes to 
him in midwinter to bring down winter provisions, and I will go 
with these men if you should send them." 

The chief acceded to her request. On the following day he called 
the young men of his tribe and sent them to go with his wife. In 
the morning they started iii two large canoes. They went to the 
Skeena River. The ice was very hard on the river. The young 
woman guided them on their way. Soon they came to the end of the 
ice on Skeena River; and the hearts of the young men failed them 
when they saw the hard ice on the river. Then the princess stood 
up in the bow of the canoe, and sang her spring song. At once the 
ice began to melt in front of the canoe as far as they could see. 

Then the young men took courage and went on. Soon they 
reached the end of the opening in the ice; and the Robin Woman 
stood again in the bow of the fu"st canoe and sang with her beautiful 
voice as the robin sings in the springtime, and the ice melted away 
in front of the two large canoes. They went on, and the Robin 
Woman contmued to sing. 

Therefore the people say nowadays that as soon as the robin sings 
the first tune in spring, the ice begins to melt. They say that the 
bird's singing over the ice causes it to melt. 

They went on many days, and finally reached a beautiful town. 
There were four rows of houses there, and every row was full of houses, 
and the chief's house was in the middle of the first row. It was a very 
large house. The village was very beautiful, and all the people in 
the village looked very fhie. 

182 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

As soon as they reached there, the Robin chief invited the strangers 
who came to the town with his young daughter, and the chief was 
much pleased to see her come; and when all the young men were 
seated on one side of his large house, the chief first gave them cooked 
fresh spring salmon to eat, and then fresh sahnonberries and all 
other kinds of fresh berries. 

After the meal the princess called the young men who came with 
her from her husband's town, and led them to one side of her father's 
house. There she opened the door of a large room and showed them 
snow and ice, wliich fdled the inside of the large room. Then she 
took them to the other side of the house, opened the door of a large 
room, went in, and all her companions followed her. There she 
showed them a large hill full of salnaonberry bushes and all kinds of 
berries around that beautiful hill. There were all kinds of wild 
flowers budding on the green grass, and all kinds of birds were 
singing on the flowers. The hummingbirds went in rapid fhght 
among the flowers. Then the princess took them to the rear of the 
house and showed them a large beautiful river. The river was fuU 
of all kinds of salnion. So the people said that the house of Chief 
Robin had winter on one side, and summer on the other. 

On the following day the cliief invited all his people into his large 
house. After the feast he began to speak, and said to his people, 
"My dear people, you all know that my daughter has come up to me 
from her husband's, for their provisions are gone, for they used them 
in the winter. Therefore my beloved daughter took her husband's 
people to come with her for food. Therefore I want you, my great 
tribe, to bring her fresh spring salmon, fresh ripe berries — salmon- 
berries, blueben-ies, and all other kinds of berries — also mountain- 
goat meat and fat and the soft fat of grizzly bears." 

On the following morning the birds were ready before day-dawn. 
Very early in the morning Cliief Robin stood on the roof of his large 
house and began to sing to call his people. Then they all flew out to 
gather food; and before noon they came home one by one, bringing 
meat and fat of mountain goats, grizzly-bear meat and fat, salmon- 
ben-ies and blueberries, and all kinds of food. At dusk all the Robins 
had come back into the house of their chief. 

Then the chief said to his tribe that he would send his daughter 
back to her husband the following morning, with all the provisions 
that had been brought to his house. When the morning came, he 
stood on the top of his house to call the people, and sang as robins 
sing. So his people assembled, loaded the two canoes with all kinds 
of food, so that the two canoes were full of all kinds of provisions. 
Then the two canoesstarted down the river. The young princess was 
in the first canoe, and she did as before. She was standing in thebow, 
and sang her song, and the ice of the river melted away before them. 



Early the following moniiiig they reached Xicii village. Then 
the whole tribe of the chief, the husband of Robin, came down to 
unload the two canoes which were full of all kinds of meat and fresh 
ripe berries, of fat, and of fresh fish of all kinds. They unloaded the 
two canoes; and the chief invited all his people into his house, and 
gave them food until they were satisfied. 

Then the chief said to his people, "My dear people, I want to invite 
all the Tsimshian tribes, and give them some of this food; for they 
are starving, and famme is on the river." His tribe consented, and 
on the followuig morning a canoe manned by many young men and 
one prince, a nephew of the chief, went out as messengers to every 
tribe to invite the cliiefs and their people. 

When they had visited each tribe, they came back to their chief 
with happy hearts. On the following day all the guests entered, and 
the tribes sat down by themselves with their chiefs. When they 
were all in, the chief said, "Bring your boiled fresh spring-salmon, 
put it into a wooden dish, and place it before the chiefs." So his 
attendants did what he had said. They passed wooden spoons and 
horn spoons about to all the chiefs and their people, and they })laced 
in front of the guests wooden dishes filled with fresh boiled salmon. 
Then all the guests wondered to see the fresh spring salmon, and they 
ate it all.' 

After they had eaten fresh spring salmon, the chief said, "Bring 
the fresh ripe salmonberries," and his attendants brought in many 
new boxes filled with fresh ripe sabnonberries mixed vnth fat of the 
grizzly bear. Again the guests were much astonished. They put 
the food into the wooden dishes, and passed about mountain-sheep 
horn spoons. Soon the guests tasted the nice fresh ripe salmon- 
berries, and the young men told the story about Chief Robin's house 
and village. They said that the house was a marvelous one; that 
there was winter on one side, and midsummer on the other side. 
They continued, "We saw all varieties of birds and of flowers." 

Soon after they had told then- story, the guests went home, and 
all their canoes were loaded with some of the food. They were all 
merry. On the following day the chief invited the cliiefs of the tribes 
with their wives and people, as he had done before. When all the 
guests were in, he repeated the same words that he had said a few 
days before. He spoke to his attendants, and said, "Bring in the 
fresh meat and fat." They did so. They brought in a box. They 
poured water into the box, and put red-hot stones into it until the 
water began to boil. Then they put the meat over the hot Stones 
and covered the boxes to keep the steam in. 

After the chiefs and their wives had eaten the meat and the soup, 
they gave them blueberries and many different kinds of berries. 

1 The reason why they were astonished was because it was winter. — F. B. 

184 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Before they finished eatmg, the young men outside the chief's 
house shouted, and said, "There are two canoes coming around the 

Now, we must remember the Sawbill-Duck Woman. As soon as 
the Robin Woman came back from her father with provisions, and 
the Sawbill-Duck Woman saw how many different kmds of food the 
Robin Woman had brought to her husband, she went all alone to her 
father for food. She arrived at her father's house, and told her father 
what the father of Robin had done for liis daughter — how many 
different kinds of food she hatl brought down to her husband. There- 
fore the father of SawbUl-Duck Woman assembled his whole tribe 
and informed them of what his daughter had said about her husband, 
and how the Robia Woman had given to her husband, the chief, many 
kinds of food. Then the wise men of his people said, "Let us also go 
and bring to our chief's daughter many kmds of food!" 

They all agreed, and on the following mornuig they went, and from 
noon on until the evening they came home one by one. Some brought 
whales; others, sea lions, seals, halibut, and all kinds of fish. They 
carved the whale blubber, the sea-Uon blubber, and the seal blubber. 

On the following day they took down two large canoes and loaded 
them with all kinds of blubber — blubber of whales, sea Uons, seals — 
and with all kmds of fishes. After they had filled the two canoes, they 
tied them together and put a wide plank across them. The Sawbill- 
Duck Woman sat down on it. Then the two large canoes went on 
fixst. They took a little rest on one of the islands, and the Sawbill- 
Duck Woman looked at the beach. Behold! a large pile of mussels 
was hanging on a rock yonder. She went ashore and took off a large 
pile of mussels, and placed it by her side on the plank. 

Now, these two canoes went on toward the chief's town. They came 
there about the time when the great feast given by the chief to all 
the tribes of the Tsimshian was ended. The chiefs and the people 
were all happy. 

While they were still feasting, some one came m and said that two 
canoes were coming up around the point, and all the guests were 
silent. Then another man came in and said that the other wife of 
the chief was coming from her father's house with two large canoes 
full of something. So the cliief ordered his attendants to go down 
and see what the woman brought home with her. 

Quickly they went down to the beach and saw the large cluster of 
mussels by the side of the Sawbill-Duck Woman on the plank where 
she •vt^as sitting. When the men saw the large cluster of mussels by 
her side, they went back quickly to the chief's house before all the 
guests had gone out. The chief of the feast asked, "What did she 
bring home with her ? " The men who had gone down told him that 
she had brought home a large pile of mussels. 


Then the chief became very angry; and he was ashamed, for in his 
house were all the cMefs and head men of the Tsimshian tribes. 
They were all silent. At last the chief of the feast said to his attend- 
ants, "Go dow^l to the canoes and capsize them!" So a number of 
his young men went down and turned over the two canoes, which 
were fiUed with all kinds of fish antl animals. 

Then the Sawbill-Duck Woman flew out to sea, and the young men 
who had capsized the two large canoes saw the blubber of whales 
floatmg on the water, and also blubber of sea Uon, of seals, and of all 
kmds of fishes. They ran back to the chief quickly and told him of 
what had happened. They said, "These two canoes are full of the 
richest food — blubber of whales, sea lions, and seals, and of all kuids 
of fish." 

Therefore the chief said, "Gather the whale blubber and the blubber 
of sea lions and seals, and bring it in ! We will give it to all the chiefs 
here. And also take up all the fishes, and we will give them to the 
head men of all the tribes, that they may take them home for their 
wives and their children." 

Therefore the young men went down again quickly to bring in the 
blubber; but, behold! it had been transformed into rocks and large 
round bowlders. These are stiU on the beach at the end of Prince 
Rupert Town. 

The young men went back to the chief and told him that the canoes 
and their load had been transformed mto rocks and bowlders on the 
beach; and now the chief was stiU more ashamed, and he was very 
angry. All the chiefs went out from the feast. They were amazed 
to see the rocks and bowlders on the beach, and every one went home 
fuU of joy. 

25. The Princess Who Rejected her Cousin ^ 

There was a custom among our people that the nephew of the chief 
had to marry the chief's daughter, because the tribe of the chief 
wanted the cMef's nephew to be the heir of his imcle and to inherit 
his place after liis death. This custom has gone on, generation after 
generation, all along until now, and the places of the head men have 
thus been inherited. So it is with tlois story. 

A very long time ago there was a great village with many people. 
They had only one chief. There was also his sister. They were the 
only two chiefs in the large town. The chief also had a beautiful 
daughter, and the chief's sister had a fine son. AU the people of the 
viUage were glad to see the young prince and the young princess 
growing up, and they expected that these two would soon marry. 
Therefore the relatives of the prince went and talked with the father 
of the princess, and they also went to the uncles of the princess and 
talked to them. 

1 Notes, p. 767. 


Now, the relatives of the girl accepted, but the girl rejected the 
proposal and said that she would not marry him; but the young 
prmce loved her very much, and still she refused him. The young 
man loved her still more, and he was always true to her. Moreover, he 
was very anxious to speak to her, but the young woman rejecteil him. 

Now, the prmcess wanted to make a fool of her cousm. One day 
she dressed herself up and went to the end of the village to take some 
fresh air. The young man saw her pass by liis door, and he went 
after her. Soon he saw her sitting under a large tree, and went up 
to her, and the girl was very kind to hun. She smiled when she saw 
him coming. Then the young man sat down by her side under the 
tree as gently as he could. He asked her if she did not want to 
marry him. The girl said, "If you make a deep cut in your cheek, 
then you may marry me." Therefore the handsome yoimg man 
took his knife and cut down his right cheek. The girls laughed at 
him, and they went home. When the cheek of the young man was 
healed, the princess put on her finest dress, passed the door of her 
cousin, and the young man saw her pass by. He followed her, and 
saw her sit at the same place where he had met her before. He went 
to her; and she stretched out her hands to greet him, put her arms 
around him, and kissed him once, since her cousin wanted to marry 
her. Then the young man loved her still more because she had 
kissed him the first time ever since he had loved her; and when the 
young man was overflowing with love, she said, "If you love me so 
much, show your love and make a cut down your left cheek; then I 
shaU know that you really love me." The young man did not like 
to do it. However, he wanted to marry her, and so he took his knife 
and made a cut down liis left cheek. They went home, and the young 
man was always flunking of her. 

Soon his wounded cheek was healed. He did not mind his foolish 
acts. On the following day he saw hor passing his door. The young 
man followed her, and she was sitting under the tree. She smiled at 
him when he was coming to her, and said, "Do you come to me 
again, my beloved one?" and he replied, "Yes, I come to marry 
you." Then he put his arms around her, and she kissed him again. 
He asked her, "Do you love me, my dear cousin?" and she replied, 
"Yes, you Itnow how much I love you," and the princess asked him, 
"Do you also love me, cousin?" and he rephed, "Indeed, I love you 
very much." Thus said the young man, for he wanted to marry 
her. Then the princess said to him, "Now, show me your love. 
Cut off your hair, then you may marry me." So the young prince 
took his knife and cut off his beautiful yellow hair. (In those days 
the young men and the old men wore their hair as long as women's 
hair, and it was considered dishonorable to cut a man's haii' as we 
do it now.) 


They went home, and on the following day the young man sent 
some one to her, saying that he wanted to marry her now. There- 
fore the messenger went to her and told her what her cousin had 
said; but the woman replied, "Tell him that I do not want to marry 
a bad-lookuig person like him, ugly as he is;" and she gave him the 
nickname Mountain With Two Rock Slides, as he had a scar down 
each cheek. She laughed at him and scorned him, saying, "I do 
not want to marry a man who cut his hair hke a slave." 

The young man's messengers came back to him and told him what 
she had said. Therefore the youth was very much ashamed. He 
remembered that he also was a prince, and he cried because his 
own cousin had mocked him. 

Now, he decided to leave his father's house and his uncle's house, 
for he was ashamed before his fellows of the scars wliich he had made 
on his own cheeks by order of liis beloved one. He went about, not 
knowing which way to go. Day by day he went, and he came to a 
narrow traU. He walked along it, and saw a small hut away off. 
He went toward it. Before it was evening he reached there; and 
when he was near, he walked up to it quietly. He stood outside and 
looked through a small hole. Behold! a woman was sitting there by 
the side of a fireplace. She said, "Come in, dear prince, if it is you 
who was rejected by his own cousin!" So the young man went in, 
and the woman made him sit down on the other side of the fire. 
She gave him to eat. When he started from home, four young 
men, his own friends, had accompanied him on his way; but three of 
them had gone back home, and only one, his dearest friend, followed 
him all along the way until they came to the little hut. 

After the old woman had given them to eat, she said to the young 
man, "Soon you will arrive at the large house of Chief Pestilence, 
which is just across the Uttle brook yonder. Leave your companion 
at this side of the brook, and you yourself go to the large house. 
When you get there, push open the large door, then say this: 'I 
come to be made beautiful in the house of Pestilence!' Shout this 
as loud as you can. Then you will see that the house on both sides 
is fuU of maimed persons. They will call ^'ou to come to their sides; 
but do not go there, because they will make you like one of them. 
When they stop calling you, then Chief Pestilence wiU call you to 
the rear of the house. Follow his calling. He will make you beauti- 
ful." Thus said the old woman to him. On the following day, 
after they had had theii* breakfast, they started. As soon as they 
crossed the brook, the prince said to his companion, "Stay here, 
and I will go on alone. Wait until I come back to you!" So the 
companion staid there. 

Now he went on alone. Soon he saw a large house in the distance, 
and went as quickly as he could. He pushed open the door, ran in. 


and shouted at the top of his voice, "I came to be made beautiful, 
Chief Pestilence!" Then all the maimed people on both sides of 
the house beckoned to him and shouted. Those on one side would 
say, "Come this way, come this way!" and those on the other side 
said, "Come, come, come!" The prince remained standing in the 
doorway. There were many good-looking women among these 
maimed pereons. They shouted and called him; but he stood still, 
waiting until Chief Pestilence should come forth from his room in the 
rear of the large house. 

Soon the noise of the maimed people ceased. Then the door of 
the chief's room was opened, and, behold! Chief Pestilence came 
forth with his beautiful daughter. He said, "Dear prince, come this 
way!" Then the young man went to him and sat down on his right 

Then Chief Pestilence ordered his attendants to bring his bath- 
tub. They brought him a largo tub fidl of hot water. Then the 
chief took the young man, put Mm into tliis tub, and, as soon as 
he was in the tub, the water began to boil and the water boiled over 
the tub, boihng of its own accord. When the dross was all off, the 
chi f took the bare bones of the young man, put them on a wide 
board, joining them together, and after he had done so, he called to 
his young daughter, who leaped over the bones. Then the young 
man was aUve again. His features were changed, and his body was 
as white as snow. 

Then the chief said, "Bring me a nice comb!" and his attendants 
brought him a comb of crystal. The chief took it and combed the 
prince's hair down to his loins. His hair was red, like tongues of 
fire. He was the most beautiful of all. 

The chief did not want to let him go at once, but kept him in his 
house for two days. The young man thought he had been there 
two days, but in reahty two years had passed. Then the young man 
remembered his friend whom he had left by the brook before he 
entered the house of Chief Pestilence. Now, the prince told the young 
woman that he loved his friend by the brook; therefore the young 
woman said, "Let us go to see him!" They went together; and 
when they came to the place, they found the man's bare bones 
heaped up there. Therefore the young prince wept, but the young 
woman commanded him to take the bare bones to her father's house. 
The young man did what the young woman had told him, and took 
the bare bones to the chief. The chief ordered his attendants to 
bruag his bathtub. They brought it to him, and he put the bare 
bones into the tub. Then the water began to boil, and the dross of 
the bare bones boiled over the tub. Thus the young man saw what 
Chief Pestilence had done to him. 


Then the chief took out the bones and placed them on a wide board 
and joined them together; and the young woman leaped over them 
four times, and the young man was alive again. 

Next the chief asked for his own comb. They brought it to him, 
and the chief asked what color of hair he wanted. The man said, 
"Dark-yellow hair." He also asked him how long he wanted it; 
and the man said, ''Eight down to the knee. " So the chief combed his 
hair down to his knees; and this man was lighter color than the other. 
Now they started for home. It was not many days before they 
arrived at their home. The prince looked like a supernatural being, 
and his friend too was handsomer than any of the other people. They 
came and visited them; and all the people talked about these two 
men who had just come back from the house of Chief Pestilence, who 
had transformed them and given them great beauty. 

The young people coveted their beauty, and they questioned them 
one day to know how far the house of Chief Pestilence was from their 
village. Then the prince's friend told them that it was not very far 

Now, let us go back to the princess who years ago had refused to 
marry her own cousin. She was very anxious to see her cousin who 
had just come home from the house of Chief Pestilence. People were 
talking about it, that he was more beautiful than any other person in 
the village; and she heard the people say that he looked like a super- 
natural being. Therefore the young woman tried hard to see him. 

One day the chief, the father of the princess, invited his nephew 
to his house. The prince went with some of the chief's head men; 
and as soon as the prince entered his imcle's house, the young 
princess looked at hun. Oh, how fine he looked! and more beautiful 
than any of the people. Then she tried to make her rejected cousin 
turn and look at her, but the young man took no notice of her courting. 
His hair was like fire, and his face shone like the rays of the sun. 

Now, the 3'oung woman came down from her room, and walked to 
and fro behind the guests, laughing and talking, tr34ng to make the 
beautiful prince look at her; but he took no notice of her. As soon 
as the feasting was over, he arose and went home, and the young 
princess felt full of sorrow. 

The foUo\ving day she sent her maid to call the beautiful prince. 
T\Tien the girl came to him and told him what her mistress had said to 
the prince, he did not answer a word, and the maid went back to her 
mistress and told her that the prince would not answer her a word. 
She sent to him again; and when the girl came to him, she told him 
that her mistress wanted him to come and see her. But he said to the 
girl, " Go and tell her that she rejected me then, so I will not go to her 
now. " Then the girl went and told her mistress what the prince had 

190 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

said. The princess sent her girl again. " Go and tell him that I will 
do whatever he desires me to do." She went and told him what her 
mistress had said: "My mistress says that whatever you desire her to 
do she will do." Then the prince said to the girl, "Go and teU her 
that I desire her to cut down her right cheek, and I will come and be 
her guest." Therefore the girl went and told her mistress what the 
prince had said. So the princess took her knife and cut down her 
right cheek. She said to her maid, "Go and tell him that I will do 
whatever he wants me to do." She went and told the prince what 
her mistress had done. 

Again the beautiful prince said, "Just tell her to cut down her other 
cheek, and then I will come and see her." So she went and told her 
mistress, and thereupon the princess cut her left cheek. Again she 
sent her maid, who went to him and told him. This time he said, 
" Let her cut her hair, then I will go to her. " She went and told her, 
and the princess took her knife and shaved off her hair, and she sent 
her hair to him. The maid took it to the prince; but when the prince 
saw the hair, he refused to accept it. "Don't bring it near me! It 
is too nasty! Take it back to your mistress and tell her that I don't 
want to see the ugly scars on her cheeks and her ugly shaved hair. 
It is too nasty for me. " Then he left, and laughed louder and louder, 
mocking her; and the gii"l returned to her mistress very sad. 

She came slowly; and her mistress asked her, "My dear, what 
tidings do you bring?" Then she told her mistress how scornfully 
ho had spoken of the ugly scars on her cheeks, and of her shaving her 
hair, and that everybody had been laughing at her, and that every 
one had heard hixa mocking her. Then the young princess was very 
much ashamed. She set out with her maid, and walked along crying. 
She wanted to hang herself, but her maid talked to her and comforted 
her all the way. They went on and on, trying to go to the house of 
Chief Pestilence. Her heart took courage, for she hoped to get there 
and ask Chief PestUence to make her beautiful. They went on and on, 
and passed many mountains and rivers and valleys, and reached the 
edge of a large plain. There they met a man, who asked them which 
way they intended to go ; and the princess told him that they intended 
to go to the house of Chief Pestilence. She passed by him, and did 
not look at him, for she was ashamed to let any one look at her. 

Soon they saw a large house in the distance. They went toward 
it; and when they reached the door, they went right in and shouted 
as they stood in the doorway, " We come to the house of Chief Pesti- 
lence to be made beautiful!" Then all the maimed people on both 
sides of the house called to them, " Come, come, come ! " and those on 
the other side shouted, "This way, this way, this way!" and the 
princess went to those who called her to come; and the other one 
went to those who shouted "This wa}'!" 


Then the maimed people fell on the princess, broke her backbone, 
and matle her lame. They turned her head to one side, and broke one 
of her arms; and those on the other side plucked out one of the eyes 
of her maid, tore up one side of her mouth, and scratched the two 
women all over their bodies, and then threw them outside. There 
they lay wounded, and nobody came to help them. The princess was 
more severely injured than her maid. 

When the maid felt a little better, she saw her mistress lying there 
with wounds all over her body. She went to her, and saw how she 
was bruised. They were both in great distress, and the princess was 
groaning. So her maid helped her up and led her home. They 
spent many days coming down, and finally arrived at their home. 
Then she lay in bed, and fuially died. 

Therefore the people in those days made it a law that no 3"oung 
woman should have any say about her marriage. If a young man 
wanted to marry a young woman whom he chose, then the parents 
of the young man went to the parents of the young woman and talked 
with them; and when they agreed, the uncles of the man went and 
talked to the uncles of the woman; and when they agi-eed also, the 
relatives of the young man met among themselves, and the relatives 
of the young woman also met among themselves. Then the female 
relatives of the young man went to give presents to the young woman. 
Even though the young woman does not want to marry the man, 
she has to consent when the agreement has been made on both sides 
to marry them. 

When the prince and princess have married, the tribe of the young 
man's uncle set out. Then the tribe of the young woman's uncle 
also set out, and they have a fight. The two parties cast stones at 
each other, and the heads of manj^ of those on each side are hit. 
The scars made by the stones on the heads of each chief's people are 
signs of the marriage pledge. 

At the end of this fight the people of the young man take ah 
expensive garment, and, with the blood running down their faces, they 
go to the house of the woman's uncle, and they put her on this expen- 
sive garment. Eight princes put her on tins garment. 

Sometimes the uncle's tribe take the giil to her husband in two 
large canoes tilled with people. They put a wide plank over the 
canoes to let the girl sit on it. They smg while they are on the water. 
In the canoes they have a large amount of property and all kinds of 
food as well. The bride is placed on the left-hand side of the bride- 
gi'oom in the man's uncle's house. For three daj^s they sit there 
without eating anything and without drinking; and neither bride 
nor bridegi'oom is allowed to laugh or taUc or look around. While 
the young people play m the house where the bride and groom are 
sitting, trying to make them laugh or talk or look around, the couple 


must look right into the foe. At the end of the thi-ee days they are 
allowed to do as they like. This is the end. 

26. The Bkak Who Married a Woman' 

Once upon a time there hved a widow of the tribe of the G"i-spa-x-M' °ts. 
Many men tried to marry her daughter, but she declined them all. 
The mother said, "When a man comes to marry you, feel of the palms 
of liis hands. If they are soft, dechne him; if they are rough, accept 
him." She meant that she wanted to have for a son-in-law a man 
skillful in building canoes. Her daughter obeyed her commands, and 
refused the wooings of all young men. One night a j'outh came to 
her bed. The palms of his hands were very rough, and therefore she 
accepted his suit. Early in the morning, however, he had suddenly 
disappeared, even before she had seen Mm. Wlien her mother arose 
early in the morning and went out, she found a halibut on the beach 
in front of the house, although it was mid^vinter. The following 
evening the young man came back, but disappeared again before the 
dawn of the day. In the morning the wdow found a seal in front 
of the house. Thus the}' Uved for some time. The young woman 
never saw the face of her husband ; but every morning she fomid an 
animal on the beach, every day a larger one. Thus the widow came 
to be ver}^ rich. 

She was anxious to see her son-in-law, and one day she waited until 
he arrived. Suddenly she saw a red bear {m,ES-6'l) emerge from the 
water. He carried a whale on each side, and put them down on the 
beach. As soon as he noticed that he was observed, he was trans- 
formed into a rock, which may be seen up to tliis day. He was a 
supernatural being of the sea. 

27. The Prince Who Was Taken Away by the Spring Salmon * 

There were two towns in the canyon of G'itsIala'sEr. One was 
called G'itxts !a'xl, the other one G"i-lax-ts !a'ks. They were on Skeena 
River, and each of these towns had a chief. Toward the end of winter 
the people had spent aU their provisions. There was a famine, and 
the people were m want of food. At that time a famine was among 
the people almost every winter. 

The gi'eat chief of the G'itxts !a'xl liad one young son. His father 
loved hhn very much. Therefore he bought for him a small slave-boy 
to stay with him whenever his parents had to leave him for a while. 
The slave-boy lo%'ed his young master. In those days they would 
not give much food to a young prince, and this prince just chewed 
the fat of mountain goats, and every day he would make nice arrows. 

> Translated from Boas 1, p. 290. Notes, p. 747. * Notes, p. 770. 


One day his pai'ents went up into the woods to get the bark of 
trees, which the people used to eat iii those days in winter. While 
they were away, the slave-boj'- was very hungry, and cried for food, 
and the prince was displeased because the slave-boy was crying. 
Therefore he stopped the work on liis arrows and went about the 
house to try to find something for his slave to eat. He went to his 
mother's empty boxes, opened them, and at last he opened the last 
large box, and saw a small box inside. He opened the small box 
that was inside the large one, and found a large dried spring salmon, 
which his mother had folded up and put into the little box inside the 
large one. The prince took it out, unfolded the large spring sahnon, 
took a small piece off and gave it to the little slave, who was crying 
from hunger. Then he put the dried sahnon back in its place, and 
tied the two boxes up as they had been before. 

Late in the evening his parents came home, brmgmg much fresh 
bark which they had gathered. The mother went to the large box, 
untied it, and opened the small box inside the large one, took her 
large spruig salmon out, unfolded it, and found that she had lost a 
piece on the right side of her dried salmon. She had kept this large 
dried salmon for two long years. Now she was as angry as fire. 
She asked, "Who has stolen my salmon ?" She was very angi-y. 

At last the son said to his mother, "I did so, mother." Then she 
scolded her son, and said, "Yes, you do not care about salmon in the 
summer. Now you are hungiy and begin to steal. Don't do it 
again!" Thus she said, and the young prince was ver}^ sorry. 

He said to his mother, "I did not eat your dried sahnon. I gave 
it to my little slave, for he cried all day long after you left." Then 
the mother scolded him still more, and so the j'oung man began to 
cry. When his father saw hun crying, he tried to stop his wife, but 
she did not stop. 

Then the prmce called liis little slave and told him that he would 
leave his father's house that evening. The little slave wished to 
accompany him, but the prince refused to take him. He said, "You 
shall stay at home with my parents." So he went away secretly 
while the people were all in bed. Before he went, he took his marten 
garment and put some fat in the pores of all the martens ( ?) on his 
garment. Then he went. . After he had been away a little while, the 
little slave began to cry. He could not keep his mouth shut, and 
cried bitterly. Then the chief said, "Why do you cry so?" Then 
the little slave told him what had happened. "My young master 
went away from home." 

80 the chief got up and scolded his wife. He ordered his slave to 

call all the people of the village; and the slave went out and shouted, 

"My master's son has gone away from home tonight, great village!" 

Soon all the people of the village came forth carrying torches of bark 

50633°— 31 ETH— 16 13 


and of pitch wood. Some went into the woods, and some to the 
river, searching for the prince, but they could not find hhn. The 
prince looked back and saw the lights of their torches, still the 
searchers did not see him. 

After midnight the searchers went back to their own houses and 
waited until morning came. The prince, however, went on, and came 
ashore below the village; and he sat there resting himself, for he 
was weary. Soon he thought that he heard the noise of a canoe 
poUng up the river a Uttle below the place where he was. He 
remained sitting there silently; and as soon as the canoe came up to 
him, it crossed the river and came toward him. It came to the 
place in front of him. In it were seated four men. They went up 
to him and called him to come to his father. 

Then the prince went down. They took him aboard the nice new 
canoe; and the men in the canoe said to the prince, "Now lie down 
and have a good rest and sleep." The prince did as they told him, 
and the men paddled away to their home out at sea. When they 
reached the village, the young prince awoke from his sleep. He saw 
a largo village. The houses were all carved with figures of spring 
salmon, and in the middle of all the houses was a very large carved 
house in which the chief lived. The canoe landed in front of this 

Then the men said to the prince, "Come up with us to our great 
chief's house! He invites you in." So they went up; and as soon 
as they got in, the prince saw the great chief lying in the rear of his 
large house. He was sick with palsy. For two years he had had 
that dreadful disease. The sick chief ordered his attendants to 
spread mats at one side of the large fire. They did so. Then the 
prince went and seated himself on the mats which had been spread 
for him by the chief's attendants. As soon as he was seated on a 
mat, behold! an old woman came to his side, who touched him, and 
said, "My dear prince!" Then she questioned him. "Do you 
know who brought you here?" The prince replied, "No." — "The 
Spring Salmon have brought you here, for their chief has been sick 
with palsy for over two years, because your mother has kept him in 
her little box for two years. When you unfolded the salmon the 
other day, the chief got a little better because you did so." 

Before the Mouse Woman informed the prince, she had asked him 
if he had no ear-ornaments of wool. The prince gave her both of his 
woolen ear-ornaments, which he took and threw into the fire; and 
she took the ear-ornaments while they were burning and ate them. 

She said, furthermore, "Some time when you are very hungry, 
take a club and club one of the children who are pla3ang on the 
sand-hill behind the houses. Make a fire and roast it. Then eat it- 


Gather all the little bones and cast them into the fire." The Mouse- 
Woman went away after giving her advice to the prince. 

Now, the chief ordered his attendants to give good food to the 
visiting prince. They did so: and after the prince had eaten, the 
chief said to him, "My son, I am well pleased that you have come to 
my village. You shall live with me in my own house, and I will 
take care of you, together with all my good people, until we take you 
back to your own home. I am glad because you have taken me out 
of your mother's small box; and you unfolded my feet and my arms, 
therefore I sent to bring you to ray house." Thus spoke the chief to 
the prince. 

Now, the prince stood there for a while. On the following day he 
was very hungry. Then he remembered the advice of the old 
Mouse Woman. He went behind the village, and saw there many 
children playing on the sand-hill. Some of them threw themselves 
down and rolled down to the foot of the hill. Then the prince stood 
there. He took a club, and when he saw a good-looking boy, he 
took hold of him and clubbed him. The boy was at once trans- 
formed into a nice little spring salmon. He was surprised. He 
took it and went up a little farther along the sand-hill. There he 
started a fire and roasted the whole small spring salmon; and when 
it was done, he ate it all. After he had eaten, he went to a brook, 
drank, and went back to gather all the bones, which he burned, as 
the old Mouse Woman had advised him to do. 

Then he went to the chief's house. In the evening, as soon as he 
was seated at the side of the house, he heard some one cry bitterly 
saying, "Oh, my eye is sore, my eye is sore!" Then the Mouse 
Woman came to him and said, "Go and search in the hole at the foot 
of your roas ting-spit!" He went quickly, and found the eye of the 
little spring salmon in the little hole where the roasting-spit had 
been placed. He threw it into the fire. ^Vhen he went in, behold! 
the boy whose eye had been sore had recovered. 

The ilouse Woman also advised him, "As soon as you have eaten 
the fresh salmon, take a drink of fresh water" (so the natives do 
nowadays; as soon as they have eaten any kind of salmon or any 
kind of fish, they take a drink of fresh water, that the salmon or 
other Idnds of fishes may be revived agam, and so go home again 

One day the chief sent his people to see if the leaves of the cotton- 
wood had fallen into the Skeena River. They went, and found a 
few leaves falling from the Cottonwood tree. The Salmon called the 
leaves of the cottonwood tree salmon. It was early in the spring 
when the Spring Salmon were sent to see whether cottonwood leaves 
had fallen into Skeena and Nass Rivers. Wlien they came back 
from these two rivers, the chief asked if there were salmon in the 
rivers. The scouts said that there were a few in the rivers. 


The prince staid there a while longer in the town of the Spring 
Salmon. One day he was again ver_y hungry. He went behind the 
town, where the children were playing on a sand-hill. Then he saw 
a beautiful fat youth. He took hold of hini and clubbed him, and 
he became a good-looking small spring salmon. He roasted him at 
the same place where he had roasted the salmon before; and after 
he had eaten it all, he gathered the bones and threw them into the 
fire. Then he went to a brook, where he drank. Then he went home 
well satisfied. After a little while, some one came to the house, 
crying, "Alas, my rib is sore! Alas, my rib is sore!" He cried 
bitterly. When the young prince heard it, he went quickly to the 
place where he had roasted the spring salmon. He searched all 
around, and found a little rib under the chips. He cast it into the 
fire and went home, and the boj' was well. 

After some time the chief ordered his slaves to go as scouts to the 
two rivers to see whether the salmon had come. So they went to 
examme the rivers. Now they saw that many leaves had fallen from 
the Cottonwood trees. Then they returned to their master vnth. the 
glad tidings, and the chief said that it woidd be better for them to 
get ready to move. 

Therefore he invited his tribe into his house. He told them what 
the scout slaves had to say, and all the people agreed to move within 
a few days. The scouts had brought home with them some fresh 
green leaves, and the whole tribe were glad to see the leaves. There- 
fore on an appointed day they were ready to move from their home 
in the deep sea. They went veiy slowly, and soon they reachtul the 
town of the Silver Salmon. 

Then the chief of the Spring Salnion told thom that his scouts had 
brought home some nice new salmon, and that therefore they were 
moving. Thus he informed the Silver Salmon. Therefore the chief 
of the Silver Salmon said, "We will also move after you have gone a 
little distance." 

Soon after they had left the town of the Silver Salmon, the chief 
took a small smooth round pebble from his own mouth and handed 
it to his adopted son, the prince. He said, "Take this and put it into 
your mouth. It wiU defend you against all dangers, death, and diffi- 
culties." The yomig man took it and put it into his mouth. 

They went on their way, and soon they met many canoes. They 
asked the crew, "How is it in those two rivers? Are there any 
salmon?" They said, "Yes." Then the prince asked one of his 
men, "Who are these people?" The man told him that these were 
the canoes of the Steelhead Sahnon, who had come back from the two 
rivers, that they moved early in the spring, and that they were now 
on their way home. 

wSoon they came to another large town, the village of the Hmnpback 
Salmon. The chief of the Spring Salmon told them that his scouts had 


brought good tidings from the Skeena and Nass Riveis; and the chief 
of the Humpback Salmon rephed, "We will go up Skeena and Nass 
Rivers after the Steelhead Sabnon have passed." They went on 
their w&j, and came to anotlier village, the houses of which were 
carved in the form of the rainbow. The prince asked who these 
people were, and they told him that it was the to\vn of the Dog 
Salmon. The chief told them also that his scouts liad brought good 
tidings from Skeena and Nass Rivers; and the chief of the Dog 
Salmon replied, "We will go after the Humpback Salmon have 
passed." They went on their way, and came to a large to\vn, the 
town of the Cohoes Sabnon. The cai-vings on their houses were 
curious hooked noses. The Spring Salmon told the Cohoes Sabnon 
that he had good tidings from the Nass and Skeena Rivere; and the 
chief of the Cohoes said, "We will wait until late in the fall, just 
before there is ice on the rivers." They went on their way; and 
after they had traveled a short distance, thej' came to a very large 
village, the village of the Trout. Their houses were carved with 
stars. The chief of the Spring Salmon told them that he had good 
tidings from the Nass and Skeena Rivers; and therefore the chief of 
the Trout said, "Chief, will you wait for us a couple of days, so that 
we may get ready to move with you?" The Spring Salmon con- 
sented to wait for a couple of days. Soon they got ready, and the 
chief of the Trout wanted to go ahead of the Spring Sabnon. The 
Spring Salmon agreed to this, and the Trout went ahead. The 
Spring Salmon moved along slowly; and as soon as they reached just 
outside of the Skeena and Nass Rivers, just inside of Douglas and 
Stephens Islands, they rested for a while. 

Then the chief stood up in his canoe and said to his people, "Now 
I will question you, and you shall answer me;" and so he asked the 
people in the first canoe, "^Vhich way will you go ?" and many canoes 
replied, "We wiU go up Nass River." Then the chief said, "Oh, 
many of you are just like bones found on a sandbar in Nass River." 

Then he questioned another company: "\Miich way will you go?" 
and they replied, "We will go up Ksdal River." — "Oh," said the 
chief, "your flesh is harder than wood." 

Then he turned to a third company: "Which way \\'iU you go?" 
They replied, "We vnW go up G-its!Emga'16n." Then the chief said, 
"Go to those that will carry you there and that \\'ill throw you on 
the groimd!"' 

Then he turned to the fourth company and said, "And which way 
will you go?" The fourth company rephed, "We wiU go to the 
canyon of the G'itsIala'sEr." Then the first three companies rephed, 
"Go there! Your ears shall be full of maggots."- 

1 Translation not certain: SEni-ga dzEt wil galgaldza'SEm; ada dEm sa-oi ia'ms xdzilaga'sEm. 

198 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY (eth. ann. 31 

riio chief was very glad, for many of his company were going with 
him to the canyon of G'itsIala'sEr. Then the four companies sepa- 
rated, each going to its own camp. All the Spring Salmon went on 
their way. 

Now the chief's company in his large canoe was at the mouth 
of Skeena Kiver, together with the prince. AYhen they were close 
to the mouth of Skeena River, they rested for some time. 

Now I will go back to the beginning. When day came, after the 
prince had left his father's house, the people searched for hiin in the 
daylight. Then the father of the prmce assembled all the shamans 
in his house, and he said to them, "I want you to let me know whether 
my son is dead or aUve." Then all the shamans of G'itsIala'sEr each 
worked his own spell, but none of them could explain to the chief what 
had happened. The chief and his chieftainess were very sad. There 
was only one great shaman left on the other side of the village. The 
chief spoke to his attendants, and said, "Go and bring that great 
shaman here!" So they went, called him, and took with them much 
property to present it to the great shaman. He was called Nes- 

Then the shaman went with aU his companions ; and when he came 
in, those who accompanied him arranged a seat for him. He put on 
his crown of grizzly-bear claws, put eagle's do^vn in the crown, put on 
his dancing-apron, and red paint on his face. He was quite naked, 
and took his rattle in his right hand and the white tail of an eagle in 
his left hand. Then he began to sing, and all his companions struck 
batons against a cedar board which lay in front of them. The great 
shaman was dancing around the fire. 

As soon as his three songs were ended, he stood still in front of the 
father and mother of the prince who had been lost. 

He said to the father and mother, "Your boy is not dead. He is 
alive, and lives in the house of the Salmon people." Then the father 
took a little comfort, and the shaman sang again. He ran around the 
fire; and after another three songs, he stood still again, and said, 
"The Spring Salmon took away your son. He is now in the house of 
the Spring Salmon chief ; for your wife was angry wdth the boy because 
he took a little piece of her large dried spring sabnon; and if you do 
not eat the dried spring salmon, your son will not come back this 
spring. As soon as you eat the dried spiing salmon which you have 
kept for two full years in your box, the chief of the Spring Salmon 
will get better, and then your boy wiU come back with him." Thus 
spoke the great shaman to the father and to the mother of the prince. 
After that he went to his own home on the other side of the canyon. 

Now, the parents of the prince took then- dried salmon and ate it all. 
Not many days after the great shaman had done tliis, the prince's 



f :itlior invited the same shaman to come and to use all Ms spells. He 
did the same as before; and after he had danced, he told the boy's 
parents that the chief of the Spring Salmon was now better, and that 
he would start soon to bring the boy up the river. He continued, 
"Now I will give you my advice agam. Give orders to all your brave 
men who know how to fast in order to catch animals, and who have 
eaten 'medicine,' to obtain tliis power tliroughout the winter. I 
will give the same orders to my own tribe; and you yourself keep away 
from your wife until the spring salmon stop running up the river. I 
shall use my spells every day in your house. Let all the old women 
work on the salmon nets. Do not allow young women to touch the 
twine if their hves are unclean. Thus let every age have its own 
duty. Then let all the old men make new poles to be used tliis 
spring — those who are ready to fast." Thus said the great shaman 
to the prince's father. 

Therefore the father gave orders ti> his brave men and to ,the old 
women. Now the shaman ordered his o\\'n people to do the same, 
and therefore the two tribes made ready for the arrival of the spring 
salmon; and they also made ready theii" platforms on the side of a 
steep rock alongside of the canyon of Gitslala'sEr. 

Now the great shaman came to the chief's house almost every 
evening, accompanied b}' all his friends. He tried to find out whether 
the spring salmon would arrive soon. Now the spring was coming; 
and as soon as the ice was floating in the river, the shaman said to all 
the people who had assembled in the cliief's house, "I have seen in my 
vision the cliief of the Spring Salmon, and all his people accompamnng 
him, leaving their village today, together with the prince." The 
great shaman was dancing every day. After eight days had passed, 
he said, "Now they have arrived at the mouth of Skeena River. The 
cliief of the Spring Salmon wants to rest at the mouth of the river 
for a while." 

Now we will return to the Spring Salmon. While they were 
resting at the mouth of Skeena River, the Spring Salmon children 
said, "Let us keep together and go up the {mdl'milnEm?)\" Soon the 
time came, and the Spring Salmon moved up the river slowly. They 
went up farther and farther, until they reached the mouth of the 
canyon of G"its!ala'sEr. There they rested again. 

Now, the shaman had seen in Ms vision that the spring salmon 
were resting at the mouth of the canyon. Therefore he ordered all 
the people to make haste and to go down to their platforms and to 
have their nets and poles ready. They all went down qidckly, and each 
put down his pole with the net at one end. Then the gi'eat shaman 
went down himseK with Ms pole on Ms shoulder. He was sitting on 
Ms platform, and he put down Ms pole with the net at one end. 
The prince's father also went down. Then the people caught many 

200 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

spring salmon. The shaman, however, had none, but the father of 
the prince caught many. Then the chief of the Spring Salmon saw 
the net of the great shaman on one side of the canyon, and stretching 
to the other side.' So the Sahnon cliief saw that he had no way to 
go up through the canyon; and he said to the prince, "Now, my son, 
don't let your father dry my flesh! Let him invite the people of all 
ages, and let them eat my flesh at once, and he shall tlu-ow my bones 
into the fire. Then he shall drink fresh water as soon as he has eaten 
me." Thus spoke the Spring Salmon. 

Then he went through the net of the great shaman. Therefore 
the shaman felt his net-line shake, and so he pulled up his net easily. 
He looked down to the lower end of Ms pole, and, behold! a large 
spring salmon was in liis net. Therefore he shouted, so that his 
companions might come and help him. Two men came, and they 
pulled up the salmon on the shaman's platform. When he got the 
salmon on his platform, the shaman's supernatural helper came to 
him on liis platform, and said to him, "That is the cliief of the Spring 
Salmon, with the lost prince in his stomach. Don't club him hard, 
lest the prince should be hurt!" Thus said the shaman's super- 
natural helper. "Lay the Salmon down easily, so that the prince 
may not be hurt!" 

He took the large Spring Salmon out of the bag net and put it 
down easily on the platform. Then he said to his companions, "Go 
to the village and tell the people that I caught the chief of the Spring 
Salmon who took away the young prince, and call four old shamans 
to be my helpers, and bring down a new cedar-bark mat and bird's 
down and my bag of red ocher, also my rattle and my crown of 
grizzly-bear claws, my dancing-apron, and the white eagle tail." 
They went, and they shouted, "The gi-eat shaman has caught in 
his bag net the chief of the Spring Sahnon, who carried away our 

Therefore all the people assembled around the two men who 
brought the good tidings. They also said, "Let four old shamans 
go down to his platform to help liini carry up the large Sahnon to the 
chief's house. Also take a new cedar-bark mat, red ocher, eagle's 
down, liis dancing-apron, his crown of bear's claws, liis -rattle, and 
his white eagle tail." So the four shamans went down and spread 
out the new cedar-bark mat. The great shaman put on his apron 
and his crown of bear's claws. He took his rattle in his right hand, 
and the eagle tail in his left. The four shamans were ah'eady dressed 
before they went on the platform. Then they took the four corners 
of the cedar-bark mat on which the large salmon had been placed, 
and walked up slowly. The great shaman went ahead of them, 
shaking his rattle and swingmg his eagle tail, going in front of the 

1 Translat ion uncertain. . 


four shamans whu were carrying the hirge Spring Sahnon on the mat. 
Before entering the chief's house, he ordered all the young people to 
come out, for they were all unclean. lie let all the aged people enter 
in front of the large Spring Salmon; and he made all the shamans 
dress up, men and women. Then the crowd moved into the house, 
and the chief laid a good-sized cedar board in the center of the house. 
Then all the old men and women were ready. The male and female 
shamans were dressed up, and came in after the large Salmon had 
been placed on the new cedar board. All the shamans marched around 
the fire four times. All the singers were read}', sitting around the 
house. Then the great shaman said, "Let two very old women 
shamans get ready to cut this great cliief Spring Salmon!" Then 
two very ohl women took up their large mussel-shell knives (these 
were very useful in olden times), and the whole assembly kept silence. 
Then one of the old women shamans said, "I will call the names of 
this cMef of the Spring Salmon;" and she began to call, "My dear 
chief Spring Salmon, named Quartz Nose, named Two Gills On Back, 
named Lightning Following One Another, named Tlu-ee Jumps!" 

Now they began to cut the large Spring Salmon along its big 
stomach. They cut along easily, and took out the large stomach; 
and one of the women cut the large Salmon, and the other cut open 
the large stomach. WTien she opened it, behold ! a small child was in 
it. She took it up easity, and the great shaman began to sing, while 
all the other shamans, male and female, swung their rattles. The 
singers were singing as loud as they could, and the great shaman was 
running around the small child. It was the size of a span from the 
middle finger to the thumb. 

While the shamans were working around the prince, he began to 
grow very quickly, not as cliildren grow up nowadays. He came to 
be of his former size. 

Then he told his story — how the Spring Salmon had taken him 
away the same night when he left his father's home; and he told his 
father's people how he reached the village of the Salmon. He con- 
tinued, "I did not know where I was until the old Mouse Woman 
came to my side and asked. for my ear-ornaments. Then she told 
me as follows: 'This is the town of the Spring Salmon which you see. 
The chief was sick for two years, until you took him out of your 
mother's box. Tlien he was a little better. Therefore he sent his 
attendants when your mother was angry with you.'" And he told 
his story right along — how he had lived at the town of the Sprmg 
Salmon until the chief was quite cured, and how the chief sent his 
people often to Skeena River to see if salmon (that is, the leaves of 
Cottonwood) were in the river, until the messengers brought the news 
that the season had arrived. Then they moved, and first passed the 
town of the SUver Sahnon, to whom the chief gave the good news 


from Skeeiia River — how they went on and passed the town of the 
Humpback Salmon, and how the chief told them the news from 
Skeena River; how thej' went on and passed the \allage of the Dog 
Salmon, and told them the same story; how they went on and passed 
the village of the Cohoes chief, and told them the news; how they 
went on and passed the town of the Trout, and how all the Trout had 
asked Chief Sprmg Sahnon to wait until they themselves were ready 
to go ahead of the Spring Sahnon, to which the chief had consented ; 
how they waited there two days and met the Steelhead Salmon 
coming from the rivers, when the ice was still on the rivers, who 
told them that it was good weather on the Skeena and Nass Rivers 
and about the fisliing; how they rested between two islands; and 
how the chief had asked all his people where they would camp, 
and how they had answered him what rivers they chose; and how^ 
they had come to the mouth of the canyon and had seen all the 
bag nets at the sides of the canyon ; how some nets had been weU 
open and others closed. He continued, ''Only the net of the great 
shaman was wide open, and reached from one side of the canyon to 
the other end of the other side. Therefore my Salmon father had 
no way to go up any farther.'" 

All his father's people listened in silence and astonishment. There- 
fore he turned to his mother, and said, "Xow, mother, don't keep 
dried salmon in your box any longer; and if any one cooks fresh 
salmon of any kind, tkrow the bones into the fire and drink as soon 
as you finish eatmg. Then the salmon will go home, and will revive 
again safely." The father kept the prince in his house. 

The prince kept a little round pebble in his mouth, which his father 
Salmon had given him before they moved from their town. Therefore 
the prince did not need any food after he had come home. 

One day the prince called four j^oung men, who were to be his com- 
panions; and he loved them very much, and they loved him also. 
The prince staid in his father's house for a -long time. He began 
again his old occupation of making arrows with eagle's feathers, and 
therefore eagle feathers were very useful to him. Therefore one day 
he went out with his four friends to his eagle trap, which he used to 
make, digging a deep pit, with some smaU pieces of wood across the 
opening of the pit. They put the bait on top, and some man would 
stand in the pit. As soon as the eagle saw the bait, he would swoop 

1 Before the spring salmon went up the river, the Tsiinshian moved from Nass River to Skeena River. 
All the Tsimshian tribes went to Slceena River for their salmon fishing. When they reached the mouth of ' 
Skeena River, they saw the spring salmon jumping. Then the Tsimshian children shouted, saying, 
"Ayuu, do it again!'' and every time they saw salmon jump, they shouted, ".tyuu.'" The prince ex- 
plained this to hLs father's people at G-its!ala'sEr when he came home. That which we call the jumping 
of salmon Is no jumping, but the salmon were just standing up in the canoe to stretch their bodies; and 
when the Salmon hear the children or the people shout " Ayuu, do it again!" they are very glad to 
hear them shout "Ayuu, do it again!" When the salmon stop jumping, the people say, "We will 
catch you tonight in our nets! " Sonowadays the people, when they see salmon jumpmg, shout, "Ayuu!" 
to make the salmon happy.- -Henry W. Tate. 


down upon it to take it, and the eagle's feet would sink down. Then 
the man in the pit would take the feet of the eagle and club it. Some- 
times they would catch many in this way in a single day, and they 
used thek feathers. Tlio four young men did not know what kind 
of bait the prince used; and one day they went again, as they had 
been doing for many days before. There was one among the young 
men who loved the prince more than the other three, and whom the 
pi"ince also loved. Before they went to the eagle trap, the prince 
called this youth, and took out of his mouth the small stone and put 
it into the mouth of his beloved friend. Then they went on; and 
as soon as they arrived at the place where the trap was, the three 
men went into hiding, and the fourth one went down into the pit, 
ready to catcli eagles, as usual. The prince himself lay down at the 
opening of the trap, and became like a small spring salmon, very 
pretty to look at, and shining brightly. Then a large hawk which 
flew liigh up in the air looked down for his prey, and saw a nice little 
spring salmon on the ground below. Therefore he turned his wings 
down rapidly and picked up the small spring salmon by the throat 
and flew away quickly. Behold! there was the young prince dead 
on his eagle trap, his mouth fuU of blood. When the young men, 
his companions, saw this, they wept bitterly, and his friends took 
him down to his father's house. Then all his people mourned over 
him for many days. 

At the end of the mourning-season the whole village took him to 
his grave. They put the coflln in the same place where he had been 
taken away when he had taken the shape of a spring salmon. They 
put the cofTm on foiu" strong poles to protect it from the wolves. 

^Yhen night came, the four friends staid under the coffin. About 
midnight one man left his companions and went home, and three 
remained. At midnight another man went home, and two remained. 
Then after midnight the third man went home, and onty one remained. 
He was the one who loved the prhice most in his heart. 

Before dayUght he thought he heard the sound of people coming up 
the river in canoes and talking to one another. Soon the canoes 
reached the ])each iii front of the place where they were. The people 
went up to where the coflin was. Three men stood at the foot end, 
and one of them cUmbed up to the coffin. He loosened the rope 
around the coffin and opened it. Then he said, "Dear prince, your 
father the chief sent us to take you down to him." Thus spoke the 
man who had cUmbed up. Then the prince arose, and went down 
laughing for joy, and his beloved friend stood there speechless. 
The men helped the prince down from the coffin. 

Then the prince's friend went to him and said, "My dear prince, 
I am here. Don't go with those men! Come down with me to your 
own father's bouse!" The prince, however, took no notice of him. 

204 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

They went down to the canoe, and the prince went aboard with them. 
. Then the friend jumped aboard. The four men, however, did not 
see him, and the prince also did not see liim. They paddled away 
happy, and their hearts full of joy. The man was very anxious to 
talk to the prince, and went to him in the canoe, sat down by his 
side, and said, "My dear prince, did you km)w that I came aboard 
with you?" but the prince took no notice of him at all. Therefore 
the man began to cry. 

Now the prince said to the men who took him in the canoe, "Pull 
hard! I feel somethmg touching me on my right side." They 
pulled hard. 

The prince's friend was angry with those men who were taking 
away the prmce, and he saw that they all had arountl their throats 
large wreaths of cedar bark. Therefore he went to the steersman, 
took the big red tiling around his throat, and pressed it between liis 
hands. Then the steersman fainted. The young man left liimand 
went to the others and did the same, until he had done so to all of 
them. As soon as he let go, each man revived. Therefore they 
paddled away hard to get home. When they reached there, the 
whole village of the Salmon people greatly rejoiced, and the friend 
of the prince was astonished to see them. 

They took the prince into the chief's house, where there were a 
great number of Salmon people. The prince's friend stood outside. 
No one took notice of him. Therefore he was thinking of his own 
home, and stood outside crying. When he stopped crying, he wiped 
the tears from his eyes down his cheeks with the palm of his hand. 
Then he felt something in his own mouth. Behold! it was the small 
pebble which the prince had put into his mouth before they had 
gone to the eagle trap. Therefore he took the stone out oi his own 
mouth and offered it to the prince, who was seated by a large fire, 
where he was eating. The young man took the small pebble and 
put it into the prince's mouth. Then the prince looked around, and 
saw his friend sitting by his side. He put his arm around his neck, 
and said to him, "Did you come along with me V The yt)uth replied, 
"Yes, I came along with you, my beloved prince." 

Then the prince said t<> his friend, "If you are hungry, go behind 
the village, and you will see the children playing on the sand-hill. 
Take one of them and club it. Make a fire and roast it whole; and 
when you have eaten enough, throw the remains into the fire, bones 
and all, and drink fresh water." 

None of the Salmon people knew that the young man was there, 
only the prince. At night they lay down in one bed to sleep, and 
they were talking together. Wlienever he was hungry, the young 
man did what the prince had told him. 

On the following day the prince asked his friend, "Did you hear 
the drum which is always being beaten at the end of the village?" 


"Yes," he replied. "They arc dancmg. If yoii want to see them, 
go down and look up. Don't go in! Just look in at a knot-hole. 
Take with you leaves of a small hemlock tree, and put th'em into the 
knot-hole." Therefore the man went; and when he reached in 
front of the large house, he heard a drum and singing, and he looked 
with one eye tlu-ough the knot-hole. He saw that the house was 
full of eagle down, and all the Salmon people were dancing, wearing 
garments set with abalone shells. 

Wlien he took his eye away from the knot-hole, it was full of 
herring spawm. Then he put the hemlock branch through the knot- 
hole; and when he pulled it out, it was full of herring spawn. He 
ate it and went home. The prince asked him, "Wlicre have you 
been all this tune?" and he told him that he had been to see the 

Now the man had been there a long time. One day he felt home- 
sick for his parents and his village, and he cried all day long. Then 
the prince came to him and asked him why he was crying, and he 
told him that he was homesick for liis parents and brothers and 
sisters. Therefore the prince said, "I will take you up there after 
a while, early in spring ; for now the ice covers all the rivers, and no 
one can go up Skeena River imtil the ice is melted." The prince 
tried in every way to comfort him. They went to the place behind 
the village; and the prince said to his friend, "I ^\•ill take you to the 
mouth of Skeena River, and then I wiU go back. I will stay here 
as long as my Salmon father is ahve. You shall tell this story in my 
father's house when you get home. My Salmon father also said to 
me, 'When the people of the canyon cut the spring salmon, let them 
cut the head first, and the tail also, but don't let them break the 
tail off with the hand. Just cut it right tlu-ough with the mussel- 
shell knife. Don't use a stone or bone blade. Otherwise thunder 
and hghtning and heavy rains will come upon them and bring dis- 
aster to your people.' " After the prince had spoken, the man said, 
"My dearly beloved prince, I do not want to leave you here. I 
want you to go back with me to our home, lest your relatives and 
your father make complaint against me if you do not come back 
with me." 

Therefore the prince spoke again, and said, "I will go back vnih 
you; and as soon as I arrive at home, I shall die, and then I shall 
stay with my grandfather and his people." The friend compelled 
him to go home with lum. At the end of their talk they went into 
the cluef's house. That was the winter-time, and the prince always 
said to his friend that he should club one of the children beliind the 
town whenever he was hungry, and so his friend did so all winter long. 
Early in spring the ]>rince spoke to the Salmon people. "O father! 
I wish to go as a scout and to see if there are any salmon in Skeena 

206 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [etii. anx, 31 

River." Tlierefoi'e the Sabnon father invited all his people into his 
house, and told them what his adopted son had said; and all the 
Salmon were glad, because the prince was wise. Early the next 
mormng they took the prince down to a new canoe. They launched 
it, and they all went aboard, together with the prince and his friend. 
Then the Salmon people paddled; and as soon as they arrived at the 
mouth of Skeena River, they saw the ice floating down, therefore 
they could not go any farther. 

Then the prince said to his companions, "Let us try to go a Uttle 
farther up;" and the young people pulled very hard to get ahead, 
but they were hindered by floatmg ice. Soon they arrived at the 
mouth of G'itslEmgalon River. Then the prince said to his friend, 
"You go ashore here and walk up to the village." They both cried 
for a while, and then separated, their hearts full of sorrow because 
they were never to meet again. The young man stood on shore, 
weeping. Then the canoe of the prince went down river quickly, 
and the young man lost sight of it. Therefore he went up to his 
own town; and when he arrived there, his parents were glad of liis 
coming. His father called all the people; and when they were all in, 
the young man told his story— how the Spring Salnaon had taken 
the body of the prince, and that he was living there now, that he had 
gone with him in the canoe of the Spring Salmon. He continued, 
"He did not know me at first; and when we reached the place, I 
remembered that he put a small pebble into my mouth, so I j^ut it 
back into his mouth. Then he knew that I was with liim. He still 
loved me, but the Salmon people did not see me at all." Moreover, 
he told the people that the prince would not come back any more, 
because the Spring Salmon loved Mm, and that nianj' of the young 
Salmon people loved him much. He also told the people what advice 
the prince had given, to be very careful in cutting the spring salmon 
when cutting off the head and the tail, and that if they broke the 
backbone at the head or tail, then thunder and lightning would burn 
up the mountains and the village; and he said, "Don't use stone or 
bone knives, because this will make heavy rains and the rivers will 
overflow." Furthermore, he said to them, "Don't let the people 
keep salmon in their boxes when it is dry, lest there be no salmon 
the following summer;" but he also told them how the Herrings 
were dancing every day, and how beautiful the houses of all the 
Salmon were; that the Spring Salmon had carved houses, and also 
Silver Salmon, Humpback Salmon, Dog Salmon, Cohoes Salmon, and 
Steelhead Salmon, but that the houses of Trout were carved bet- 
ter than aU the others; that the Spring Salmon were the chiefs 
of all the Salmon, and that their town was way out at sea, and so on; 
and that all the tribes of Salmon were people. This is the end. 
They have always kept the story of the prince and the Salmon. 

boas] tsimshian myths 207 

28. The Town of Chief Peace ' 

In a village at Metlakahtla lived a great chief. His chieftainess 
was a great noblewoman; and although the chief had many wives, 
he loved her most, for she was a princess, the daughter of the chief 
of another village. Therefore her husband loved her and honored 

Many years had passed since they were married, and still she had 
no chikh'en; but when she was getting olil, she conceived and bore 
him a son. They loved him very much. Soon he grew up; and when 
he was a young man, everybody loved him. 

The father wished. Ms son to marry, and therefore the young man 
was married to a princess. His father gave away much property to 
the relatives of the princess; and the princess's relatives — her uncle 
and also her father — gave liim four costly coppers, elk skins, boxes 
of crabapples, boxes of cranberries mixed with grease, and all kinds 
of food. The young man loved liis wife, and all his people loved her. 

The princess, however, was downcast because her husband was a 
great gambler. Every day he would go to the gambling-house, and 
he would join the gamblers. Sometimes he lost much. At other 
times he won. His wife would stay at home. Soon the princess gave 
birth to a child. 

One day the prince went, as he was used to doing, to the gambhng- 
house, and he gambled and lost all his property, and he lost all his 
father's property — Ms costly coppers, Ms large canoes, and Ms 
slaves — and he lost also Ms father and Ms mother and Ms wife and 
Ms httle boy. Late in the evening he came home. He was very 
sorry on account of what he had done to his good family. 

As soon as Ms wife saw him enter, she arose and took a dried 
salmon; but the young man was silent. He stared into the fire like 
one dumb. His wife roasted the salmon, cut it, and put it in a large 
dish and placed it before her husband; but the prince did not take 
any notice of it, for he felt distressed because he had lost all his 
property and Ms family. Therefore he kept silent. The dish 
remamed untouched in front of him. When it was late in the evenina:, 
the woman scolded because her husband did not eat the salmon 
wMch she had prepared for him. Therefore she took the dish awaj', 
and said, "You ought to eat the salmon of the daughter of CMef 
Peace." She was angry, and tM-ew the dish with the sahnon into 
the fire. 

Then the young man's heart was full of sorrow. He arose and 
went to' bed and lay down there. He thought that he would not be 

1 The people have a little story about a village on an island way out in the ocean, in which a great chief 
is said to live, Chief Peace. He is said to have a very beautiful daughter called Peace Woman, a very 
beautiful girl; and many princes tried to marry her, but they could not reach her town, because it is too 
far away from the mainland. They could not find their way back from her home, and they all perished on 
■their way out on Ihe ocean.— Henkt W. Tate.— Notes, p. 779. 


able to endure the shame of staying at home. Therefore he decided 
to leave the house while the people were asleep. He arose from his 
bed, took mountain-goat fat and some tobacco to chew, and some 
small coppers. Then, before going out, he went to one of Ins father's 
slaves, and said to him that he was leaving his^father's house because 
he was angry. Then lie went away quickly, without waiting for an 

As soon as he had gone, the great slave shouted, "Master, master, 
your son has gone away!" The cliief said, "Where did he go?" 
The slave repUed, "He left just now. He told me that he was going 
to leave you and your people." Therefore the chief said, "Go out 
and call my tribe. Tell them that my beloved son has left my 
house, being angry." 

So the slave went out and shouted, "My master's son has left full 
of anger." Therefore the whole tribe arose; the people took their 
torches of pitch wood and of olachen, and searched m the woods and 
on the beach and in the water. 

The young prince, however, had gone straight behind his father's 
house, and he came down at the beach on the other side. He walked 
around the sandy shore of the bay until he came to a point of land. 
There he sat down at the foot of a spruce tree ; and while he was there 
he heard a canoe roundmg the pomt. Then he heard the crew saying, 
"This is the place!" He remained sitting there. Then he heard 
them come ashore toward hun. Behold! two men stood m front of 
him, who said, "Prince, come down to our canoe and go ^vith us! 
We have come to take you home. " So the prince went dowii to their 
canoe to accompany them, and the two men asked him to lie down 
and to sleep. 

He obeyed, and the two men paddled very hard and soon reached 
their master's village. There they woke the prmce, who had been 
asleep all the way. Wlien the young man awoke, behold ! he saw a 
a great town and many people. He went ashore, and some jjeople 
guided him to the chief's house. There he sat down on one side of 
the fu-e, and many people came m. As soon as he was sittmg there, 
some one touched his side, and said, "My dear, throw your ear- 
ornaments mto the fire!" He did so. This was the Mouse Woman, 
who asked him, "Do you know who has brought you here?" He 
replied, "No. " Then she said, "This is the town of Chief Peace. He 
has a beautiful daughter." The Mouse Woman contmued asking 
him, "Have you a little fat, tobacco, or a small piece of copper?" 
The prince said, "Yes, I have fat, and tobacco, and copper." Then 
the Mouse Woman said, "Ask the chief's attendants to spread a mat 
in front of the chief and the chieftainess and the three uncles of his 
daughter; and then throw the fat on the mat, and also the tobacco. 
Then the small amount of fat will enlarge on the mats, and after- 


ward take the small <'0])pers and break them to pieces. Throw 
these down also in front of the great chief and his wKe and the girl's 
uncles." Thus spoke the Mouse Woman, and she went away. 

Presently the prince said to the chief's attendants, "Spread two 
mats m front of the chief, two mats in front of the chieftainess, and 
two before each of the three uncles of the girl." The attendants 
did as they were told; and the prince fu-st threw a httlefat on the mat 
in front of the chief, and it became a great pUe. He also threw 
tobacco on the other mat, and the tobacco became a great pile. He 
did the same m front of the chieftainess and of the three uncles of the 
girl. After he had tlirown down the fat and the tobacco, he threw 
a piece of copper m front of the chief, and it became a large costly 
copper. He threw down four pieces. Then he threw two pieces of 
copper down in front of the chieftainess, and two each in front of the 
three uncles of the daughter of Chief Peace. 

^Vhen he had done so, Chief Peace said to his attendants, "Bring 
down my only daughtei, and let her sit by the side of the pruice! 
She shall become his wife." And the chief invited all his people, 
and the prince was married to the chief's daughter. The girl loved 
him very much, and his father-in-law loved both of them. 

Sometimes the young man would go to get wood; but his father- 
in-law would not allow him to get firewood, for he had many slaves 
to do so. The chief gave to his daughter the two great slaves who 
had brought the prince to his house to be the slaves of the young 

One day the prince went around the island crying, for he felt home- 
sick for his parents. Late in the evening he came back home to his 
father-in-law's house, and he went right up to his bed and lay down 
to weep. Then his beautiful wife came to him and asked him why 
he was weeping, whether there was anythmg wTong between them 
or between hun and her father. The man replied, "No, not so. I 
am well satisfied with your father's kindness to me." Then he told 
her that he felt homesick for his father and mother at home. The 
piincess did all she could to comfort him. 

On the following morning his father-in-law said, "Start the fire, 
slaves!" They lighted the fire. Then he asked his daughter, " Wliat 
makes my son-in-law so sad this morning?" The young woman 
replied, "He longs for his parents." Then the chief said, "Oh, it is 
not a very long way off. I shall send you back sooi\. Early tomorrow 
morning I shall send my whole tribe out to hunt; and if they are suc- 
cessful, I shall let you go day after tomorrow, and you will reach 
home on the following day." 

So on the following mornuig, quite early, all the people of the tribe 
went out hunting; and when the sun rose in the east, they came home 
one by one. Some brought whales; others, sea lions, seals, halibut, 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 14 


antl all kinds of fishes. Wlieu they were all at home, they gave the 
animals antl the fishes to their chief; and the chief iavited aU liis 
people, to tell them that his son-ia-law was to leave the following 
morning for his own native land; and he also said to his daughter, 
"Wlien you have no food in -wmter, tell A'our husband to ask his 
wood-carvers to make a good long cane six fathoms long of ash. 
You will need six digging-sticks.' Also let them make a lai^e board 
four fathoms long and two fathoms wide." 

Wlien the feast was over, the people all went home, and on the 
following morning they took down two large canoes. Both ends of 
these canoes were carved in the form of the mouth of an animal, and 
all the large flat^beamed canoes were carved with figures of otters. 
Then the peojile took down to the canoes the whale blubber that they 
had brought the day before; and when the two canoes were full of 
whale blubber, the chief took hold of them by the stern and shook 
them, and the whale blubber decreased in bulk. Then they loaded 
the canoes with blubber of sea lions; and when they were full, the 
chief took hold of them by the stern and shook them, and the sea- 
lion blubber decreased in bulk. Next they loaded them with seal 
blubber; and when the canoes were fuU, the cliief took hold of them 
by the stern and shook them, and the seal blubber became less. 
Then they loaded them with all kinds of fish, and so the canoes were 
filled with many kinds of fishes. Then the people took down a large 
board, put it across the two canoes, and spread garments of sea otters 
over the boards. The two young people were made to sit on these; 
and the cliief said to his daughter, "My dear, when you hear the 
thwarts, the stern, or the bow of the canoes creak, or if they stop 
going, then you must know that they are hungry, and you must feed 
them with seal blubber. Feed the bow and the stern haK a seal each. 
And when they have eaten your seals, whistle. " After he had given 
this advice to her, he shook the two large canoes, and he whistled. 
Then the canoes moved and went on rapidly toward sunrise. 

They went a long way, then they stopped ; and aU t he thwarts, t he 
bow, and the stern made a great noise. The princess said to her 
husband, "Feed them!" The prince did so; and soon after he had 
fed them, he whistled, and they went on. Four times the two canoes 
rested on their way across the sea. 

Eai'ly on the following morning it was calm and foggy. Then 
they arrived in front of the village of Motlakahtla; and when the 
fog vanished, the people of the village came forth, and, behold! the 
large canoes anchored in front of the village. 

The village people asked those in the canoes, "What kind of people 
are you?" Soon the young man arose, and said, "Did not a prince 

1 We call this a digglBg-stlck. In those days they were used for digging clams or digging the ground. 
It was a pole sharp at each end. Sometimes they would also kill people with it. A clam-digging stick is 
not very long, three or four feet, but the chief told him to make it sl\ fathoms long.— Henky W. Tate 


go away from home years ago, being angry ? "' Then all the people in 
the village wore fuU of joy. Some cried, some shouted, and some 
were amazed. They all went down to the beach to call the canoes 
ashore; and when they came there, they took the blanket on which 
the princess was seated and put it down at the edge of low water. 
Then she stood near the stern of the two canoes, and all the people 
carried up the fishes from the canoes; and when the fishes were all 
out, the princess shook the canoes, and they were full of seals, and 
they carried these up to the cliief's house. When the seals were all 
out, she shook them again, and they were full of sea-lion blubber, and 
the people carried this up to another house; and after they were 
empty of the sea-Uon blubber, she shook them again, and they were 
fuU of whale blubber, and the people of the village filled another 
house with the whale blubber. Four houses were filled with pro- 
visions which they had brought home. 

After this the young people of the tribe took up the plank; but 
before the young men took up the plank, the princess shook the stern 
of the large canoes and whistled, and the canoes went back rapidly 
to then' home out in the ocean. 

The young men took up the plank with the prince and the princess 
seated on it, lifting it above their heads, and put it down by the side 
of the chief's great fire. 

The princess Peace Woman wore a large plume behind her ear, 
and she was always carrying her pretty little root basket from which 
she drank water. She would not allow anj^ young man to fetch 
water for her except her husband. As soon as her husband came in 
from drawing water, she took off the plume and dipped it into the 
water which her husband had just brought in, and the water dropped 
down in clear drops. Then she drank it. 

Now, the former wife of the young man tried in every way to talk 
to liim, but he refused to do so; and his former wife tried to meet 
him, but the young man would take his son along. Peace Woman 
loved her husband's son. 

Not many days had passed when the people of different tribes 
gathered to buy food from the prince who had just come back. They 
brought skins of elk, marten, and sea otter, canoes, raccoon skins, 
and all kinds of goods to buy provisions, and the young man became 
rich. Therefore he invited all the tribes and gave a great feast to all 
the chiefs, and gave away property and food; and he gave a great 
feast to his ov.'a tribe. Then all his goods were gone, and his pro- 
visions were exhausted. 

Just before full moon he told his father's wood-carvers to make 
six digging-sticks, each six fathoms long. Therefore his six wood- 
workers went, and each of them made one stick. Late in the even- 
ing, when they had finished them, they came home. The princess 

212 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann-. 31 

examined the sticks that the woodworlvers brought. Each had done 
his very best to make the best stick, and each brought a nicely carved 
digging-stick into the chief's house. The princess refused them, but 
she took the one made of ash. 

On thefollouang moTTiing some more woodworkers went, five in all. 
They made five digging-sticks of ash, and carved them as well as they 
could. They took them to the princess, who examined them. Now 
she had what she needed. The first time each of the woodworkers had 
made his digging-stick out of other wood — one of spruce, another of 
hemlock, another of fir, another of maple, another of yellow cedar. 
Therefore the princess refused them. They were not strong enough. 
The six digging-sticks of ash were red and strong and would not 

Early the following morning they arose, and her husband said to 
his father's attendants, "Take my wife down to the low-water Une." 
Therefore the young men took her down on the same plank on which 
she had come. vShe took one of the long digging-stielcs and put it 
down into the sand very deep. She took another one and put it • 
down in the same way as the first one, and she did so with the rest 
of the six sticks. Then she leaned on the first stick. Behold! there 
was a large whale pierced through the back by the stick. She went 
to another one, leaned against it, and it had speared a great sea hon. 
She went to the next one, leaned on it, and there was a seal; another 
one, and there was a large hahbut ; another one, and there was a 
large red cod: and when she leaned on the last stick, there was a 
great bullhead. After she had finished, the young men took her up 
to the house. The people of the whole village carved the great 
whale and cut off shces of blubber; and they carved the sea lion, 
seal, halibut, red cod, and bullhead. They carried them into the 
chief's house, and three houses were well fiUed. 

Then all the tribes of the Tsimshian heard of it, and they all came 
together to buy food; and the prince sold the whale blubber and the 
sea-lion blubber and all the large fishes and seals; and when he had 
finished, his father's house Avas full of elk skins and all kinds of goods. 

On the following morning the young men carried her down again to 
the low-water line. She was seated on the plank, and other young 
men took down her digging-sticks. She put the first one very deep 
into the ground, and then the other ones to the last one. Then 
Peace Woman went to the first stick, leaned on it , and there was a 
great whale. She went to the second one, there was another whale, 
and there was a whale at each of the six digging-sticks. She put 
down the six digging-sticks again, and another six whales came up. 
Then she stopped. Now she stood an her board, and pointed out one 
large whale, which she gave to her father-in-law, and one whale to 
each of the four brothers of her mother-in-law (that is, to her Inis- 


band's uncles), and another one she gave to her mother-in-law, and 
two whales she gave to her father-in-law's tribe, and two more to her 
husband's tribe, and two whales she gave to her own husband. 

Now all the people of the two tribes were busy with their own 
food. Tlien the people came along to buj- provisions. The prince 
cut one whale and sold it. Another one he cut to be given away to 
the chiefs of all the Tsimshian tribes. Therefore when the appointed 
day came, he made a great feast for the chiefs of all the tribes. He 
gave away much property, and one lai'ge whale which was cut into 
shces of blubber. 

Now, one day before evening the princess said to her husband, 
"Bring me some water!" So the prince took her root basket and 
went. His former wife was sitting by the side of the water, watclaing 
him secretly, and as soon as she saw him coming, she hid in the 
bushes; and when the young man took the water, she rushed to 
him from the bushes where she had been hiding, took hold of him, 
and put both of her hands around his body, sa^nng, "^Vliat has made 
your heart hard against me, my dear? Take pity on me! Just say 
a word to me, and I shall be satisfied." The prince tried to escape 
from her, lait she would not let him go. She held him, and finally 
the 3'oung man took pity on her and spoke to her.' Then the prince 
washed his water basket and went away quickly. 

As soon as he came in, his wife took the plume from behind her ear 
as she was accustomed to do. She put it down into the water, lifted 
it up, and, behold! it was full of all kinds of slime. Therefore she 
struck her husband in the face, and said, "Although you still love 
your former wife, yet you come to get me." She poured out the bad 
water, arose, and went out. Her husband followed her. She went 
down to the beach, and lier husband went there also. She walked 
out on the water, and her husband also walked along on the water. 
The princess was walking on the "belt" of the water.^ 

Togeth(>r they walketl on that line; and when they passed the 
islands, the princess said to him, "Go back to your former wife, lest 
I look back and you perish!" However, the young man followed 
her, running as fast as he could, and crying piteously as he was 
running. Often he would try to put his hands around her; but he 
could not do it, because she had become like unto a cloud. Again 
and again she said, "Go back, lest I look back and you perish!" 

Now, the young man saw the island of Chief Peace's village far 
ahead. Again the woman said, "Go back!" but the man said, "No, 
no, I will not go back, unless you come back with me." 

Then the prmcess looked back at him, and at once he sank down 
to the bottom of the ocean and died there. Then Peace Woman 

' Original : Su-g-a'wun da sa-qa-fi'od su-p!a'SEm y!o'<>ta as nli'at, da wlla du'mgEt wil w.T,ldF.t. 
- We call "belt" of the water a line that may be seen on the water when it is very calm.— Henry 
W. Tate. 

214 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. axx. 31 

went on weeping until slie arrived at hor father's house ou tlio island; 
and when she canio iu, she was weeping bitterly. 

Her father asked her, " Why are you weeping, my dear daughter ?" 
but she did not reply. Again the chief asked her, '' Where is your 
husband, my dear daughter?" Then she told him that he had died 
in the sea when she looJiR^ l?fl'p^ ^^ him. Chief Peace was full of 
sorrow, because he loved his son-in-law; and after he had cried, he 
rebuked her for ha'S'iug kilh^d her husljand. Therefore he ordered 
his slaves to take down his long pole with the bag net at one end. 
They did so. Then he said to his slaves, " Open the privy-hole between 
the door and the fu-eplace." They opened it, and the chief took Ids 
net-pole, put it down into the hole, and after a while he hauled up 
the net. He had caught the backbone of his son-in-law. He let down 
the net a little longer, and the head came up with the bag net. He 
put them together in their proper places, and thenlet the net down again, 
and he caught both arms. He let it down again, and he caught the 
bands. Again he let it downi, and caught the legs. He let it down 
once more, and he caught the feet. Thus the chief brought up all 
the members of the body. He put them in their proper places; 
and when he had put them in order on the wide plank, he leaped 
over the body of his son-in-law; and after he had done so four times, 
the prince arose, and the chief gave him agam to his daughter. 

So the young princess was comforted, and she gave a great feast 
to her people ; and she told them how well pleased she wsis %vith her 
husband's relatives, how her father-in-law loved her as long as she 
had been with him, and that also her mother-in-law loved her very 
much, and that the whole family had loved her. Therefore her 
father. Chief Peace, was glad, and so were all his people. The prince 
said also, "I will not return to my owni home, but I will Uve here 
with my wife and with ra>- father-in-law and my mother-in-law." 

29. Sucking Intestines' 

There was a great town at Metlakahtla, the town of the G-i-spa-x- 
la'^ts, called the Red-Bear Village (Lax-mEs-o'l), in wliich a great 
chief and cliieftamess and the chief's nephew were living. The young 
man fell ui love with the chieftainess. She loved him very much, 
and the young man loved her, but the chief did not know about it. 
The yotmg man often went to her while the chief was away. 

^\Jter a while she was with child, and the chieftainess resolved that 
she would pretend to die on behalf of her lover. So they agreed on 
this plan; and on the following day the chief tamess pretended to be 
very sick, because she loved the young man better than her husband, 
and she wanted to marry that young man. 

She had not been sick many days when she said to her husband, 
"When I die, bury me in a large box. Do not bui-n my body, but 

' Notes, pp. 634, 7S1. 


put my horn spoon in my collia, ami my marte.n l)lanket, and my 

After a short time she prctemkHl to die. Then the whole tribe of 
the chief assembled and cried for her. The people made a large box 
to bury her. They put her into it, with t\v\> marten blankets and 
one sea-otter garment, and also many dozens of Ijcautiful horn 
spoons, and with her fish-knife. They put the cofhn on the tree on 
the little island in front of the village. Now she pretended to be 

For two nights the chief went to the httle island, and sat right 
under the coffin in which the chieftainess was lying, and wept. 
While he was there, he saw gi'ubs falling down from the coffui. 
Then the chief thought, "Her body is full of grubs," and this made 
him cry bitterly ; but actually the chieftainess in the coffin was scraping 
her horn spoon with her fish-knife, and the scrapings of the horn 
spoon looked just like maggots. 

As soon as the cliieftainess was in the coffin, the young man went 
to her every night while the village people were all asleep. He went 
over to the little island, cUmbed the tree, and kicked the cover off 
the coffin, sa>ang, "Let me in, ghost!" Then the cliieftainess would 
laugh in her coffin-bed, "Ha, ha! in your behalf I am pretending to 
make grubs out of myself." Then she opened the cover of the coffin. 
The man went in and lay down with her. The young man always 
went up to her every night, but the great cliief did not know about 
it. He was still weeping, and no one could comfort him. 

One night another young man went to the Httle island where the 
chieftainess was, and was sitting with his sweetheart under the chief- 
tainess's coffin. Then they saw a young man coming to the place 
where they were. They recognized the cliief's nephew, who chmbed 
up to the cliieftainess's coffin, kicked the cover, and said, "Let me 
in, ghost!" and they heard the chieftainess laugh in her coffin. They 
heard her reply, "Ha, ha! I am pretending to make grubs out of my- 
self." Then they saw the young man going into the coffin, and 
they heard them talking in the coffin. Before dayhght the chief's 
nephew came out of the coffin. 

Then they told the cliief what they had seen ; and he sent over liis 
two attendants to watch the cliieftainess's coffin, and he gave them 
this command: "If it is true, throw down the coffin." Therefore 
the two attendants went to the island and watched the coffin; and 
whUe the people of the village were asleep, they saw a man coming 
over. They recognized the chief's nephew. He climbed the tree 
to where the chieftainess lay; and as soon as he reached the top of 
the tree, he kicked the coffin, sajong, "Let me in, ghost!" and they 
heard the cliieftainess laugh, and reply, "Ha, ha! I am pretending to 
make grubs out of myself on your behalf." The attendants heard 

216 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [etii. ann. :n 

them talking in, the cofSn; and at michught, when everything was 
quiet and they knew that they were asleep, they climbed the tree, 
threw down the large colEn, and the body of the chieftainess burst, 
and the chief's nephew also was killed. 

When the men camer down, they saw a baby boy among the intes- 
tbies of his mother. They went back to the chief's house and told 
him that it was true, and they also told him that the child was ahve. 

Then the chief ordered them to brmg the child to him, so they 
brought the cliild to him. It was sucking the intestines of its mother; 
therefore its name was Sucking Intestines. Then the chief took a 
good female slave to be its nurse. The child gi-ew up in the cliief's 
house, and the chief loved the little boy very much. When he was 
able to walk, he would go very often to the httle island to get chewing- 
gum from the spruce trees, for he liked chewing-gum very much. 
He got it from the same spnice tree on which his mother's cofhn had 
been placed when she pretended to make maggots out of herself. 

The chief took him over to the island, and burned some gum for 
him to let the child have the chewing-gum. He did so many times, 
going with his slaves. 

One day the boy walked over to the island alone to take gum from 
the same spruce tree on which Ms mother's cofRn had been. Ho hked 
best to be on the little island where he was born, and played 
around there almost every day, and the slaves would take liim over 
to the island. He became a beautiful boy, and the cliief loved liim 
more and more every day. 

One day the boy said to liis father, "Let us go to the httle island 
and burn some gum!" So the chief went with him, together with 
some of his slaves. Then the chief ordered his slaves to burn off the 
gmn, and they chd so. The chief was sitting near the spruce tree, 
wliile the boy stood in front of him. Then a flame of fire, hke a 
tongue, took the boy away from the chief, and the boy was burned 
to death. The chief mourned again, for the fire had swallowed up 
the boy. This is the end of Sucking Intestiaes. Nowadays we stiU 
caU the httle island Where She Pretended To Make Grubs Out Of 

30. Burning Leggings and Burning Snowshoes' 

There was a tribe, and a great chief was married to a chieftainess. 
He loved her very much. After a wliile he was agam ui love with a 
young woman, and he expected her to be his wiie. He loved her 
better than his first wife, and therefore his first wife was very jealous 
of his new love. 

The young woman had four brothers who were hunters. Every 
year they would come down to visit their brother-in-law, and brought 
\vith them provisions to their dear sister. Therefore the chief loved 

1 Notes, p. 781. 


them very much. Then liis lirst wife was very jealous of the young 
woman, and she tried in every way to find faidt with her. 

Finally the yoimg woman gave birth to a boy, and the chief loved 
her very much. The first wife was still trying to find fault with the 
young woman. The child was gi-owing up, and began to creep about; 
and the chief loved the child's mother because she had borne a cliild. 

One day the four brothers came down agaiu to visit their only 
sister, the chief's wife, and brought her rich food — dried meat and 
fat — and the chief welcomed liis four brothers-in-law. After they 
had been there some time, the chief asked the eldest of his brothers- 
in-law kindly tt) gamble with him, and they played together on the 
gambling-mat. The eldest brother took out a small leather bag 
from his gambling-bag, containing red ocher, which they used in those 
days to paint their faces. Pie took it out of his gambling-bag and 
put it on liis face. Now, the first wife of the chief saw this, and she 
called a slave-girl, and sent to the man who had the red ocher. She 
asked the slave-girl to teU him that she wanted some of the red ocher, 
and she promised to meet liim beldnd the house. Therefore the 
slave-girl went to the eldest brother and told him what the chief- 
tainess wanted; but the young man said to the slave-girl that he 
did not want to comply and to do a wrong to liis brother-in-law, so 
the slave-girl went back and lepeated to the chieftainess what he 
had said. 

The chief taiaess sent the slave-girl again to tell him that she wanted 
some of the red ocher, and that she would meet him outside right away. 
The slave-girl went again and whispei-ed to the young man, and 
i-epeated to him all the cliicftaiuess had said. Then he said, "I wiU 
give part of the red ocher to her, but I will not meet her;" and he 
gave half of liis red paint to her through the slave-girl. 

The woman took it, went out, and put the paint on her face. Then 
she came again, and went to where her husband was sitting with his 
young wife, in the rear of the house. She said, "Look here! Look 
at my face! Your brother-m-law mocked me and just put the red 
paint on my face.'" Then the cliief became very angry; and he said 
to liis attendants, "Shut the door, lock it, and slay the four brothers 
in there, and throw them behind my house, outside." Therefore 
his attendants killed them and threw their bodies beliuid the chief's 
house, as he had ordered them to do. Then the young woman went 
every morning to mourn for her four dear brothei-s, and the chief 
now loved his foiTuer M-ife most. The chieftainess was very glad 
now, because the chief loved her moi-e than his young wife. The 
young woman woke up very early, and carried her child along, going 
behind the chief's house, where the bodies of her dead brothers were; 

1 Original: Ni^ gwawa'(?) niat am nErEnu(?): at tia-wila'gudu Jgu-q!ala'ntk a'nEsgat a k!a'i, am-t!a'- 
IdEda mEs-a'ust a tsla'lut, ada da'mxdut a giviot. 


and she mourned there until evcninj^ every day. She would never 
eat any tiling. She did so often. 

After the chief had killed her brothers, ho called all the young 
men of Ms tribe into lois house, and they had fun in liis house every 
eveiung. The young men would shout for joy in the chief's house, 
while the poor sister was crying every evening over her dear brothers' 
bodies. Now, the cliieftainess was seated close to the chief when he 
was sitting in front of the large fire, while the young men were playing 
at the other side of the fire. 

One day the chief said to the young men who were playing, "When 
you see that woman (meaning this younger wife) come in tonight, 
take a cedar-bark rope and trip her, so that she may faU. " 

Late in the evening she ceased her wailing, and came in at the 
door with her child on her back. She came in; and when she came 
close to the cedar-bark rope, the young men held it tight, so that she 
almost fell over it. Then all the young men shouted and laughed 
at her, and the chief and his first wife also laughed at her. The poor 
mourning woman with the child on her back crept to her bed in 
the corner of the chief's house. 

Very early the following morning she went out again, and waOed 
all day as she had done before. She was almost in despah because 
they had mocked and laughed at her late in the evening. Wlien she 
came in late at night, the young man tripped her feet again with the 
cedar-bark rope, and she fell; and they all laughed at her while she 
crept to her bed, her heart heavy with sorrow. She was weak, for 
she had not had anythmg to eat since the time when they had killed 
her brothers. 

Early the following morning she went out again. She wished only 
for one thing; namely, to die. Therefore she went there often. In 
the evening, as soon as the sun went down, after she had been weeping 
bitterly all day, she opened her eyes, and there was a flash of lightning. 
She looked, and, behold! a handsome young man stood by her side, 
who said to her, ' ' Wliat ails you ? ' ' — ' ' O Supernatural One ! the reason 
why I weep is my grief for these, my four slain brothers, whom they 
have thrown out here. So I go every day to mourn for them; and 
besides this, they made fun of me, trippmg my feet with their cedar- 
bark rope; and they all laugh at me, by order of my husband, and his 
chieftainess. Sometimes I am faint with sorrow." 

Then the Supernatural One said to her, "My father the Sun sent 
me down to find out what has happened. He was displeased to hear 
your voice every day. Take my leggings and my snowshoes and 
also my moccasins. " He made them into one bundle and tied them 
together. Then he ordered her to throw them down in front of the 
chief. He continued, "Then say to him, 'See what happens to the 
leggings and snowshoes of those whom you have murdered!' A 


flash of lightning will proceed from them. Then he will call all of his 
people into his house to let them know what has become of the 
k'ggmgs, snowshoes, and moccasins of the four brothers whom he 
had killed a few days before, and to tell them that a flash of lightning 
had proceeded from them. All his wise men will not be able to 
understand it; and only one very old man, who lives at the end of 
the village, and whose name is Disbeliever, will not come when he 
is called the first time. He is ]>lind, and therefore he can not come. 
Then the second time the chief will send some young man. I will 
transform myself mto the old man Disbeliever. I shall meet the 
young man on my way. They will take my hand; and when you 
see me coming into the house, you must run away, lest you be con- 
sumed with the rest. " Thus spoke the Supernatural One to her. 

So she took the bundle made of the leggings, the snowshoes, and 
moccasins, and went in haste before it was dark. The chief heard 
that his wife had stopped wailing very early, and he wondered about 
it. Then he told the young men who wore ])laying in his house rot to 
trip her with the cedar-bark rope. Wlion she came in, aU the young 
men were quiet. She walked on straight to her cruel. husband, who 
was seated in the rear of the house, with his first wife leaning against 
his side, glad and happy. The brave woman went to them and 
threw the bundle down in front of them, saying, ' ' See what has hap- 
pened to the leggings, snowshoes, and moccasins of those whom you 
have murdered!" Then there was a flash of lightning, which fright- 
ened the chief. He trembled, and said to the young men, "Call all the 
people of the village, from the old men down to the small children, 
and from the old women down to the little girls. Let no one remain 

Therefore they went around to every house and called all the 
people, in accordance with the order given by the chief. Wlaen all 
the guests were in, the chief told them what had happened to the 
leggings and snowshoes of those whom he had slam a few days pre- 
viously, and he explained to his people what his wife had said when 
she threw the bundle down m front of bun, and how a flash of light- 
ning had proceeded from the bundle; and he said to his wise men, 
"Explain to me the meaning of this!" but nobody could explain it. 
Some of them did not believe him, and some were astonished; still 
there remained • one very old man. Disbeliever by name, and it 
occurred to some of them that the old man Disbeliever still remained 
outside. Therefore the chief sent for him. The young men went to 
his house and told hun what had happened to the leggings, the snow- 
shoes, and the moccasins of those whom the chief had slain a few 
days before. Then the old man laughed, and said that theleggmgs and 
snowshoes of the ghosts were becoming a flash of lightning; and he 
continued to laugh, saying, "No, no! Never since the world began 


have I heard of such a thing as what you have told me. No, dear, 
no! I do not believe what you have said." The young men dis- 
pleased the old man, who said, "No, I won't go thei-e! Nonsense, 
nonsense! That is all." They told him that the chief wanted him; 
but he said, "No, I will not go. I am not well tonight. " Therefore 
they went back to the cliief's house, and they told liun that Dis- 
believer had made fun of them. (The people named the old man 
Disbeliever because he did not believe what the peojile would teU him. 
Therefore they gave him the name Disbeliever.) 

Therefore the great chief was enraged, and said, "Brmg him in 
quickly!" The young men went a second tune; and while they were 
on then- way, they met him. They asked hun, "Is that you, Disbe- 
liever?" — "Yes, I was groping my way along." They took him l>y 
the hand anil led him into the house up to the chief and his wife. 
As soon as the old man came in, the mourning woman took her child 
on her back and went out unobserved. Now Disbeliever said, "Let 
me feel of the bundle!" They took his hands and guided them to 
where the bundle was. Nobody had touched it before, because they 
were all afraid lest they should be consumed by the lightning. The 
chief repeated the words that his wife had said to hun. When the 
old man felt of the bundle, he laughed again, and said, "I do not 
believe that the leggings and snowshoes and moccasins of the ghosts 
became a flash of lightnmg. I never heard of such a thing happen- 
ing since the world began. No, no, no!" Then he opened the bun- 
dle, took the leggings by themselves, sajring, "Now, leggings, let a 
flash of lightning proceed from you!" At the same time he struck 
the ground with the leggings. He took up the pair of snowshoes 
and struck the ground with them, and said, "Now, snowshoes, 
burn! — Now, moccasms, let flashes of lightning proceed from you! 
Oh, what nonsense!" 

The cliief took a Uttle comfort when the old man took up the 
leggings. Then the old man put them on. He also put on the snow- 
shoes, and leaped first before the cliief, who was sitting by his side. 
He struck the snowshoes one against the other, and ran around the 
fire that was burning in the center of the house. 

All of a sudden a flash of hghtning proceeded from the leggings and 
snowshoes and moccasins, and the house and all the people in it were 
consumed. Not one escaped from it. 

The woman was sitting where the bodies of her brothers were; and 
the supernatural being came to her again, and said, "Lay out the 
bodies of your brothers in good order." She did so, and then the 
supernatural being jumped over the eldest one first. He did so four 
times, and the eldest one arose. The supernatural being stepped to 
the second brother and jumped over liira four times, then the second 
brother arose; and the supernatural being did to the tliird one the 


same us he had done to the two others, and the tlurd one arose; tlien 
he stepped to the youngest one and jumped over him four times, and 
the youngest one arose from where he had been \ying dead. The 
supernatural being wore his own leggings, snowshoes, and moccasins 
when he jumped over the dead bodies of the four brothers, and so 
they arose from where they had been lying dead. Therefore the 
woman Was much pleased to see her brothers ahve again. She went 
to tlie place where the supernatural being stood, but he disappeared 
from their sight. 

Then the four brothers went down to the village, accompanying 
their sister. They saw the desolation of the village. They went to 
where the great chief's house had stood, and there was only a heap 
of bones and of ashes on the ground where the people had lieen 
assembled in the chief's house. 

After they had been there for a while, they started for their own 
liome in the mountains, taldng their sister along, and they still Uve 
in the mountains. We call their village TslEtsIa'ut.' 

31. HakIula'q - 

There was a village way out at sea near the great ocean. In front 
of the village were two islands. The first one was large, the second 
one smaller than the first. The first island was the town of the sea 
otters. The sea otters lived at the foot of the trees on the large 
island, and so it was on the next smaller island. There were many 
sea otters on the two islands. 

Between the two islands a child was floating. So it happened 
that if any one tried to go to these islands, he saw a beautiful child 
floating on the water. The canoe went toward it, and they took the 
child aboard; and whenever they camped on the large island, a 
monster (Hak!ula'q) would come out of the water and ask for her 
child. vShe would say, "Who stole my child?" Then a storm and 
high waves would strike against the high rocks on that island, and 
the island would become covered with foam, and the people would 
die there. The same thing happened for many years, and many 
people died there generation after generation. The people had no 
power to Idll the monster. The whole village was in mourning, for 
their young men had almost cUsappeared. Only old men now re- 
mained in the village. Two or tliree canoes were lost every day, of 
those who tried to kill the child and the woman but could not do it. 

1 Possibly the descriptiou of a pantomimic danco gi\'en to me at Kinkolith (G-in-go'lLx), on Nags 
River, refers to tliis tale (see Boas 1, 1N95, p. 52): "In one ceremony two men dressed like Ts!Ets!a'ut 
hunters appear. Suddenly the noise of thunder is heard, and dowii tlirough the roof comes a person 
dressed in eagle skins and wearing the mask of the thunderbird. The hunters shoot at the bird. At once 
there is a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder. One of the men falls dead, and the other one escapes. 
The fire is extinguished by water which wells up through a tube of kelp that has been laid imderground 
and empties into the fire. At the same time water is throwTi on the spectators through thereof. This 
performance is accompanied by songs of the women, who sit on three platforms in the rear of the house. 
The song relates ^o the myth which is represented in the performance." 

- Notes, p. 783. 

222 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Therefore the whola viOago assembled to talk about the monster 
that was destroying all their young men, and they agreed to make 
war against it. So one day they prepared their weapons, and made 
ready to go out against the monster and its child. On the following 
day they went. Part of the people went to battle against the monster, 
and the rest remained in the Aallage. 

When the party arrived at the place where the child was floating, 
they did not find it. So they came to the large island, and there they 
saw sea otters running about. They hunted them and clubbed a 
great number. They nearly forgot their grief, because they had 
slain so many sea otters. It was very calm that day, and before 
evening they loaded the canoes with the sea otters; and while on 
their way back home, between the two islands they saw the child 
floating on the surface of the water. 

Then a violent man said, "I will Icill the chikl to revenge the blood 
of my relatives!" and they all agreed. He took up his spear and 
thrust his spear right through the heart of the floating child; and 
when he took the spear from the body, the monster came up from 
the water, and asked, " Wlio kiUed my only child?" The man who 
had killed it said, "I killed your child, for you destroyed all my 
family." Then the monster shouted and cried aloud. A great 
whirlpool opened and swaUowed the canoes. The first canoe went 
along very fast, so that the whirlpool could not catch it. The crew 
brought the sad news to the people who remained in the village. 

Then that part of the people who had remained in the village made 
ready to fight the monster. On the following day they went; and 
when they arrived at the same place (that is, between the two islands), 
they did not see anything on the surface. They went right ahead 
until they arrived at the large island; and they saw that the land 
was full of sea otters, but they did not paj' any attention to them. 
They came back soon. On their way back they saw a child floating 
there. Then the two canoes went on (?), and the two harpooneers 
took up their spears and tlirust them through the body of the cliild. 
The monster came up and cried for her child, whose body was torn 
by the spears. She said in a low voice, "Why did you kill my 
child?" and the harpooueei-s of the two canoes said, "Wliy are you 
killing all om- people ? You have Idlled the greater part of our tribe." 
Then she shouted as loud as the roUing thunder. A whirlpool opened 
and drew in the canoes, but the two canoes the harpooneers of which 
had the child's body at the end of their spears could not be swaUowed 
by the whii-lpool. Then the monster seized the bow of each canoe 
and took them down to the bottom of the sea and destroyed them all. 

Now only one young cliief remained in the village, with his i.wo 
nephews and his niece and the mother of these two young people. 
The young chief thought how he could overcome the monster of the 
sea. One day he said to his two nephews, "Let us build a good swift 


canoo, and let us try all Idnds of trees!" and when he was cutting 
down the tree, two young men, who were also his nephews, came to 
him. Now there were four young men, two women, and the cliief. 
They made a good-sized canoe; and when it was finished, they 
steamed it, and it was very good. Therefore they took it down, and 
went in it against the rolling waves. They were paddling hard, and 
the canoe was broken by the waves. They went home, broke it all 
to pieces, and threw the pieces into the fire. 

Then they made another canoe of a spruce tree. It was better 
than the one they had built before. When it was finished, the chief 
went to test it on the sea. They went out; and while they were on the 
sea, they went against the rolling waves made by a great storm. The 
waves struck the canoe, and soon it broke. They went home and 
broke it all to pieces. 

Then they made a new canoe of yellow cedar, better than the one 
they had built before. "When they had finished it, they took it 
down, and went again against strong winds wliich raised moun- 
tainous waves. They struck it and broke it. Then they went 
home, broke it to pieces, and tlirew the pieces into the fire. 

The chief tried all kinds of trees. Last of all he tried the yew tree, 
whose wood is very strong and hard. They built a better canoe than 
any of those before; and when they had finished it, they tested it on 
the stormy sea. Then they came back home safely. 

Then the young chief ordered liis four nephews to gather all kuids 
of food. On the following day he loaded his strong canoe with all 
kuids of provisions, and they started. The young women were 
with them. Theh- yew canoe was faster than a flying bii-d. They 
went along between the two islands, and soon they arrived at the 
place where the floating child was. Then the young chief said, 
"Just pass close by the floating cliild!" They did as the chief had 
ordered them; and when they were passing neai- by, the chief took 
the child's foot into the canoe, and said to his companions, "Pull 
hard!" and they paddled as hard as they could, and reached the fii-st 
island. Then they hauled up then- canoe right in the woods, with 
the child and everything m it. 

As soon as they had carried up theu- canoe, the monster came out 
of the water m front of them, and said, "Give me my child!" The 
cliief repUed, "Wliei'e are' all my people whom you destroyed? I 
will not let your child go." The monster woman said, "Give my 
child back to me, or I will overturn the island on which you camp." 
The young chief replied, "Where are all my people whom you have 

In the night the island rolled over and over slowly; but they aU 
went aboard their canoe, and the canoe floated above the island. 
On the following morning, when the rolling of the island ceased, the 


canoe rested on top of it; but all the trees of the island were swept 
away, and notliing but bare rock remained. There was no way to 
escape from the island. 

The monster was still pleading for her chUd, but the young chief 
contuiued to ask for his people. Not many days passed before the 
child died. Then the monster woman stopped asking for her cliild. 
The young chief was still on the island, and he was there for a long 
time with liis companions. The chief still counted the days of liis 

One night about midnight the eldest one of the young men com- 
pelled his sister to have intercourse with him. The next morning 
she asked him to go with her to the beach. There the young woman 
took the skin of a white weasel and tied it on the back of the head of 
her brother. She said to him, "Go on and fly out to sea, that all the 
people may see you ! ' ' For that reason the male sawbill duck is wliite 
on the back of its head. 

When the days that the young cliief had counted were at an end, 
he said to liis nephews, "Let us try to go to ouv empty village!" 
Therefore they let theu- canoe slide down on the side of the rock; 
and as soon as they reached the water, they paddled away hard. 
Soon they saw the monster sound asleep floating on the sea at the 
same place where the cliild had been floating. Therefore the har- 
pooneer said to his companions, "I will take her into my canoe." 
They went toward her, and the chief took her by the tail and thi'ew 
her into the canoe. Then they pulled away as hard as they could; 
and when they had gone a short distance, the gi-eat whirlpool opened 
behind theii- swift canoe, but they paddled away to the shore. Soon 
they came to their old village. As soon as they arrived there, the 
monster woman died. They took her ashore, and the dead child. 
They took her into the house with her child and hung them up iiiside, 
one on each post. On the following day they all went aboard again 
and went to theu' village. 

Then the whole village was asth, and the chief invited them into 
his house; and when they were all in, the chief of the village let the 
people dance and served his guests with food. After they had eaten, 
the eldest nephew of the chief said that his imcle wanted to marry 
one of the village chief's relatives. The latter invited his people to 
tell them what the young chief said. Then the old people of the vil- 
lage chose one of the old chief's nieces, a good-looking j^oung princess. 
They gave her to the young chief to be his wife, and the whole village 
gave him all kinds of food, costly coppers, and elk slcins. Then they 
went home to their own village. 

The three nephews of the young chief wanted to take wives in the 
same village ; and one day they went to the same village where the 
uncle had married, and they presented to the uncle of the young 
chief's wife and to all her relatives the skin (?) of the child of the 


sea monster, and he gave his wife's uncle the yew-wood canoe, and 
he gave to her father many costly coppers. He also gave presents 
to all the relatives of liis wife. Then all his nephews married there, 
too, and his niece married the old chief's son, and thus the empty 
village was peopled agam. The young chief took the monster woman 
for his crest. He killed the two monsters, and the island was free 
to those who wanted to hunt sea otters. Therefore the young chief 
became great among his people. 

32. The Prince Who Was Deserted^ 

Once upon a time there was a great town of the G'id-wul-g'a'dz 
tribe between !Metlakahtla and Port Simpson, where there is a great 
sandbar in front of Kumalgo. There was a great chief there, and 
his four brothers-in-law. He had an only son. The prince did not 
eat, but was only chewing dried kidnej'^ fat. He was sittmg on top 
of his father's house, and made arrows all the time. He did so every 
day; and when the humpback salmon arrived in the rivers, his 
father's people went everywhere to catch sahnon, and dried them 
for winter use. The prince and his little slave also went to the Uttle 
rivers in the great bay, and caught many humpback salmon and took 
them home. They unloaded the canoe on the sandbar in front of 
the village, and in the mornuig the eagles would gather and eat all 
the humpback salmon. He did so the whole summer; and when the 
eagles were fat, then- feathers dropped out on the sandbar, and the 
prince sent down his httle slave to gather the eagle feathers. The 
little slave went down and brought to his young master the eagle 
feathers, and the prince was very glad. He liked to feed the eagles 
with the salmon, because he wanted their feathers. He made many 
boxes full of arrows; and he used the eagle feathers, which he fastened 
to the shaft, so that the arrows were very swift. 

Now the salmon-run was over. Summer had passed, and whiter 
came, and the people had used up aU their salmon, and all the dif- 
ferent kinds of food were nearly gone. Then the prince's father, the 
chief, was much displeased with his son because he had fed the eagles 
in the summer durmg the salmon-run. Therefore the great chief 
sent his wife to his four brothers-in-law. He gave them this advice: 
"Let none of mx sons' uncles take pity on him when he comes to 
their house, starving and hungry, for he has always been feeding 
the eagles during the past summer. Let the eagles feed him now!" 
Thus spoke the chief to liis wife. Therefore liis wife went to her 
eldest brother's house, and she told him what her husband had said. 
Then her eldest brother said, "I will do so." She went to her second 
brother and told hini what her husband had said. She went into the 
house of the thkd and foiu-th brothere and told them the same. 

■ Notes, p. 783. 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 15 

226 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Every morning during this hard whiter the great chief said to his 
ovm nephews, "Wake up and make a fire!" Then all the people in 
his house arose, and would sit around the fire. They ate little food, 
but his son was sitting there just chewing a little fat which he held 
in his mouth. His parents did not give hmi even a little food, 
because his father was angry. 

One day the prince felt sad on account of what his father and mother 
were doing to him. Almost every morning his father said to him, 
"My son, go and feed the eagles with your salmon!" The young 
man was always crying. Therefore he went to his eldest uncle's 
house. As soon as he entered, his uncle said to his young men, 
"Spread the mats by the side of the fire!" They did so. "Now let 
mynephewsiton them!" He said to his wife, "Now feed my nephew!" 
So his wife took a nice dried salmon, roasted it by the fire, cut it, put 
it into a wooden dish, and the young men placed the dish before the 
prince. Then his uncle arose from his seat; and when the young 
prince stretched his hand toward the dish to take the roasted salmon, 
the chief took the dish with the roasted salmon away from him, and 
said, "Oh, let those eagles that you fed last summer feed you now!" 
Then he ate it with his wife. Therefore the young man was very much 
ashamed on account of what his eldest uncle had done to him. He 
went out crymg and sad. 

On the following day he went to his second uncle's house; and as 
soon as he entered, his uncle said to his young men, "Spread the mats 
alongside of the fire!" They did so. His wife roasted a salmon, 
cut it and put it into a dish, and placed it in front of her nephew; 
but before the prince could take the salmon, his uncle took it away 
from him, and said, "Oho! this one who fed the eagles shall not eat 
this good salmon." He ate it with his wife. Then the prince was 
very much ashamed, and went out crying. 

On the following morning ho went to his thii'd uncle's house, sat 
down on one side of the fire, and his uncle's wife roasted a dried salmon. 
After she had cut it, she put it uito a wooden dish and placed it in 
front of the young man; but before he could take the dish, his uncle 
took it away, and said, "Oho! this one who fed the eagles shall not 
eat this good salmon." Then the boy went out crymg bitterly. He 
lay down on his bed and cried the whole night. 

The following morning he went to his youngest uncle's house. As 
soon as he entered, his youngest uncle said to his men, "Spread the 
mats alongside of the fire!" They did as he had ordered them. His 
youngest uncle was crying with liLs wife while his nephew was sitting 
there. When they stopped crying, he said to his nephew, "I have 
heard what these bad men have done to you. Your mother came 
here the other day, and told us that your father wanted us to treat 
you badly. That is the reason why they ill-treated you; but I do 


not want to treat you that way." After he had spoken thus, he 
asked his wife to roast a salmon. She roasted it and placed it in 
front of him ; but he did not take it at once, because he thought they 
would take it away from him. Biit his uncle said, "Eat the salmon, 
my dear nephew!" So he took it and ate, and they gave him many 
kinds of food. At midnight he went home well satisfied. 

Early the next morning his father said to his slave, "Go out and 
order the people to move up to Nass River!" Then the great slave 
ran out and shouted, "Move away tomorrow, great tribe!" The 
people made ready to move, and on the following morning they left 
the chief's son by order of the great chief. His youngest uncle's wife 
left one dried spring salmon and a bucket of crabapples and his little 
slave with him. They also left all his boxes of arrows with him, and 
some fire and half a small bucketful of grease. Now his people 
started and went to Nass River. 

When all the people had gone away, the prince gathered some old 
boards and pieces of cedar bark. With these he built a small house. 
He gave the little slave a little salmon and crabapples mixed with 
grease. Early every morning he went out and made more arrows, 
and would sit outside the house. 

The tide- was very low, and then he saw an eagle that screeched on 
the beach. He called his little slave. "Go down to the beach and 
see why the eagle is screeching there!" So the slave went down to 
where the eagle was sitting ; and when he reached the place, the eagle 
flew away. Behold! a trout lay on the beach. Then he shouted with 
all his might, and said, "There is a trout here, my dear!" So the 
prince said, "Take it up ! " The slave carried it up to the prince, who 
ordered him to roast it. The slave roasted it; and when it was done, 
he said to his little slave, "Eat it all!" The slave did so. 

Early the next morning the prince went out again and saw many 
eagles that were screeching on the beach. He sent his slave down. 
The slave ran down, and, behold! a large bullhead was lying on the 
sand. He shouted again, and said, "There is a large bullhead here, 
my dear!" The prince said, "Bring it up here!" The slave took it 
up, and they steamed it in a hole m the ground. The little slave ate 
of it, but the prince did not eat any. 

For several days the eagle gave them trout and bullheads, which 
they dried. Then they had enough to eat. One morning he went 
out again, and he saw many eagles come down on the beach, where 
they were screeching. He sent his little slave down. He ran down 
again to look, and, behold! a silver salmon was on the sand. Again 
he shouted, and said, "There is a silver salmon, my dear!" The 
prince ordered him to take it, and he carried it up. The prince cut 
it and roasted it and ate a little. They did so for several days, and 
they dried the salmon. 

228 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. 31 

On the following day the prmce went out agam, and he heard the 
eagles screaming on the beach. He sent his little slave down. The 
slave ran down, and, behold! a large spring salmon was on the sand. 
The slave shouted, and said, "There is a large spring salmon!" The 
prince said, "Take it, take it!" So the slave took it up. It was 
very heavy ; and when he was halfway up, the prince went down to 
help him carry it. The prmce split it and dried it. They did so for 
many days, and his house was full of dried fish. 

Another morning he went out, as usual. Behold! there were many 
eagles down on the beach. He sent his slave down, and, behold ! there 
was a great halibut on the sand. The slave shouted, and said, 
"There is a large halibut here, my dear!" The prince said, "Take 
it!" but he could not drag it along. When he told the prince that he 
could not drag it, the prince himself went down, and he dragged it up. 
He cut it and dried it. 

Another morning the prince went out, and he heard the eagles 
screechmg on the beach. There were a great many eagles there. 
So he sent down his slave; and when the slave came, he saw a seal. 
Then the slave shouted, "Here is a great seal on the beach, my dear!" 
The prince said, "Take it!" The slave could not carry it, and so 
the prince went down and dragged the seal up to his camp. He cut 
it and dried it. Now one house was full of all kinds of fish. Because 
the prince had fed the eagles the past summer, they now gave him 
this food. Tliey did so many days, and every day a seal was on the 
beach. He dried them all. 

One morning the prince went out, and, behold! there were many 
eagles down on the beach. He sent his slave down; and when ho 
came there, behold! a large sea lion was there. He shouted with 
all his might, "Here is a great sea lion, my dear!" and when the 
prince heard that there was a sea lion, he went into the woods, took 
cedar twigs, twisted them, and joined them together; and when he 
had thus made a rope, he went down and tied the large sea lion to the 
shore; and when the tide rose, he and his slave hauled it up on shore; 
and when the tide turned, it was on the beach. The prince carved 
it and dried it. Now one house was full of dried seal meat, and 
he had another house full of sea-lion meat. Tlie sea lions are very 
large and have much meat and fat. They did so many days, and 
two houses were full of sea-lion meat and fat. 

Now the people who had left him were dyuig of starvation on Nass 
River; for no olachen had come, and they had no food. 

Another morning the prince went out agam, and there was a great 
number of eagles far out on the water. They were flying ashore 
with a great whale, and they landed there. Therefore the prince 
and his slave went into the woods and took many cedar twigs, which 
they twisted the whole day long. They tied the great whale to the 



shore. On the following day they cut the bhibber and carried it into 
a large house. They filled three houses with it, because the whale 
was very large. They did so several days. Now they had ten great 
whales. They had cut sLx whales, and four remamed on the beach. 

The prince went out, walking around the whole village. All the 
houses were fuU of blubber. He was thinking of his uncle who had 
pitied him while he was hungry. Therefore he called a guU and asked 
it to let him have its skin. So the gull lent hun its skin. He put it 
on and took a small piece of boiled seal meat and flew away to Nass 
River. When he arrived there, he saw many canoes trying to catch 
olachen with their bag nets, but they could not catch many. The 
prince flew over the canoes, trying to find one of his relatives among 
the canoes. At last he discovered his father's slaves in one of the 
canoes. He flew over it. 

A slave-woman was sitting in the stern, while her husband and 
others were managing the nets. The gull was flying over her head, 
and dropped down a piece of seal meat to her. The slave-woman 
took it and put it into her glove, and she then saw the guU fly away 
down river imtil she lost sight of it. 

In the evening, when the fishermen came home, and when all the 
people were in bed (the slave families live in one corner), the slave- 
woman told her husband that the gull dropped a piece of half-dried 
seal meat to the place where she was sittmg in the canoe. Therefore 
the man had a little of the seal. She also had a little, and gave the 
greater piece to her child. The child was glad to get the seal, and 
swallowed it and choked. The child almost died because he swallowed 
it whole; and the child's mother put her fingers into the child's 
mouth, trying to take the piece of seal meat that was choking the child, 
but she coiild not do so, because she had short fingers. Therefore the 
chieftainess inquired what was the matter with the child. The slave 
said, "We do not know." The chieftainess said, "Bring the child 
here to the fight of the fire, so that I may know!" They did so, and 
she said, "Something obstructs its breath." Therefore the chief- 
tainess put her long fingers into its mouth, and she felt something. 
She took out the piece of boiled seal meat. Behold ! there was a piece 
of seal meat. Then she asked the slaves where they had gotten it, 
and she told her husband the chief about it. Therefore the chief 
asked the slaves where they had obtained the dried seal meat, and 
the mother of the child told the chief how the gull had dropped the 
piece of seal meat into the canoe while they were out fishing. The 
chief asked, furthermore, " Wliere did the gull go after it had dropped 
the seal into the canoe ? " and the slave-woman said, " It went straight 
down river." 

Therefore the great chief said, "Call all the wise men, and I will 
ask them what they think." So the gi'eat slave called all the old 

230 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

men to the chief's house. He asked for their opinion, and they said, 
"We believe that your son must have been successful." Therefore 
the chief wanted to send a canoe on the next day to look for him. 
On the following morning they started, and before evening they arrived 
in front of Port Simpson. Behold! the surface of the water was 
covered with grease. They paddled along, and when they came to the 
place where they had left the prince, they went ashore. Behold ! 
they saw a great many bones on the beach; and the sand smelled of 
grease in front of the old village; and the houses were full of dried 
salmon, hahbut, dried seals, sea lions, whale blubber; and four great 
whales were on the beach. They were surprised, and wondered on 
account of all the prince had done. 

When the piince saw the canoe coming to his town, he went out, 
and would not allow them to come ashore; but they asked him to 
take pity on them. So after a little while they landed. Then they 
ate dried salmon, dried halibut, dried seal meat, dried sea-lion meat, 
and whale blubber; and when they all had had enough, the prince 
ordered them, and said, "Don't tell my father that I have plenty 
to eat! Tell him that I died long ago; but I want you to stay here 
two days and eat as much as you can, but don't take anything home 
with you. Tell my youngest imcle that I want him to come home 
soon. I will give him one great whale that is lying here on the beach; 
but I don't want my father and my mother here, nor my three elder 
uncles, who made fun of me at the time of the famine, nor any of 
my father's people; but I want all the different tribes to buy my 
provisions which you see in all these houses." 

Then he sent them back; and when they arrived at home on Nass 
River, the slaves landed in the evening. They went up to the house 
of their master. The chief asked them, "Is my son still alive?" 
They replied, "Yes, he is still alive;" and the slaves said further- 
more, "Your son, whom you deserted there, has plenty to eat. 
There is no room for all the meat and fat, for the dried trout, salmon, 
spring salmon, seal, sea lion, and dried halibut. Many houses are 
full of whale blubber, and all the houses are full of meat and of fish 
as well, and four great whales are on the shore, and a great many 
boxes are fuU of grease, and the whole surface of the water is covered 
with grease. The prince has succeeded in getting all these pro- 
visions, and he does not want to see you or his mother, only his 
youngest uncle. He asked hun to come down to him, and he will 
give him one great whale. He docs not want his three elder imcles 
and all your people, but he ordered me to tell all the different tribes 
to buy his provisions." 

Then the chief and his wife could not sleep that night. Early the 
following morning the chief said to his great slave, "Order the people 
to return to our old town where we deserted our prince. Then we 


will ask him to take pity on us, lest we die of starvation." There- 
fore the great slave ran out and cried, "Return to the old town, 
gi-eat tribe! Move by tomorrow, for our great prince has plenty to 
eat m our old village." 

Early the following morning the chief and all his brothers-in-law 
and all his people moved, and returned from Nass River to the old 
village at Sandbar Town. 

Then the eldest uncle di'essed up his two daughters. He placed 
them on a box in his canoe, for he thought his nephew would marry 
them. All the people paddled as hard as they could; and when 
they an'ived in front of Port Simpson, behold ! they saw that grease 
covered the water; and one of the young women stretched out her 
hand and dipped her fingers into the grease and ate it. The youngest 
uncle was behintl the other canoes. 

One day about noon the prmce saw a great many canoes approach- 
ing. Then he went out and asked them, ""Where do you come 
from?" They replied, "Your father and all your uncles are here, 
and your father's people." Again he asked them, "Who told you 
to come?" and they all remained silent. Again he said, "Don't 
come ashore, or I shall shoot you with my arrows! Get away from 
here and leave me alone to starve!" Then all the people pleaded 
with hun, and he took pity on them. He asked them again, "Where 
is my beloved youngest uncle?" They replied that he was far 

The prince did not allow them to land until his youngest uncle 
came. AU the canoes anchored in front of the old vUlage. It was 
late ui the evening when the youngest uncle came. He landed, but 
the prince refused to let the others come ashore until the following 
moriung. He pointed out one of the great whales, and gave it to his 
Youngest uncle, who gave his beautiful daughter to his nephew to be 
his wife. 

On the following mornmg the prmce went out and called the 
people ashore. '\\Tien the canoe of his eldest uncle was near the 
shore, the two girls dipped their hands into the water to eat the grease 
that was floating on it. Therefore the prmce was very much ashamed. 
He did not want to see them. He cut one of the whales, and gave 
one-half to his father, and one-half to his eldest uncle. He cut 
another one, and gave one-half to his second uncle, and one-half to 
his third uncle. Then he opened his storehouse of blubber, and 
gave one piece of blubber to each man and each woman, and he 
gave small pieces to the children. He invited them to come to his 
house to his marriage. He loved his wife very much. 

On the following day all the tribes came to buy provisions. They 
bought them with elk skins; and some chiefs of various tribes bought 
them with slaves, canoes, and costly abalone shells, and with many 

232 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. 31 

hundred score of dried raccoon skins, sea-otter skins, marten skins, 
dancing-blankets, and all kinds of goods. When he was richer than 
aU the chiefs, he invited the chiefs of aU the tribes and made a great 
pot latch and took his new name, Hasdii, which means "craving 
food." He gave away many elk skins, slaves, marten blankets, 
dancing-blankets, horn spoons, abalone shells, and rings of killer- 
whale teeth, and he became a great chief among the Tsimshian, and 
his wealth increased more and more. 

Again he gave a great feast and mvited all the chiefs, more than 
he had done before. When all the chiefs were in his house, he took 
ten costly coppers, ten large canoes, fourscore and ten slaves, elk 
skins, twenty score of sea-otter garments, marten garments, dancing-, 
blankets, and many horn spoons and horn dippers, and many costly 
abalone shells, and earrings of killer-whale teeth, and many boxes 
of gi'ease and crabapples mixed with gi'ease, and all kinds of pro- 
visions. Before he gave away all of this, he took one of the costly 
coppers. They placed it on his chest, and he took his new name. 
Deserted One. After that they proclauned his new name. Then 
he took the costly coppers and gave one to each chief, and he gave 
away the rest of his goods. AU the prmces of the various tribes 
received gifts from him, and all the chieftainesses received horn 
spoons and horn dippers, costly abalone shells, ear-ornaments of 
kUler-whale teeth, and so on. And as long as he lived, the eagles 
gave him whales, sea otters, sea lions, seals, spring salmon, halibut, 
and all kinds of fresh fish. His fame spread all over the country 
in those days, and he became greater and greater until his life ended. 

33. The Princess and the Mouse ' 

It was soon after the Deluge. A new town was built in the same 
place where the old town had been before the Deluge, and the people 
grew up and became numerous in the same towai at Prairie To^\ti. 
They had a great chief who had a beautiful daughter. Her mother 
and her father loved her very much. The girl grew up, and many 
princes wanted to marry her; but her parents refused them, for the 
chief wanted his daughter to ma,rry a high prmce. The chief watched 
her in the night, lest some one visit her. Her father made her bed 
above his own bed. She went up early every evenmg, and woke up 
late every morning, as her parents ordered her to do. When she 
wanted to take a walk in her father's village, she invited some young 
women to walk with her. She did so once every year. The name of 
this girl's mother was Gund&x, and her own name was Su-da'°l. 

Thus many years passed. One night the princess felt that some 
one came to her, and she saw a young man by her side. Before day- 

' Notes, pp. 747, 791. 


break the young man went out, and the princess staid in bed until 
very late. The following night the young man came again, and she 
loved him very much. Every night he came to her. 

One night it occurred to the young princess that she wanted to 
know who the young man was who came to her every night. There- 
fore she watched hun early in the morning; and when the young 
man arose, he was transformed into a mouse, which went through 
the knot-hole above her bed. Then she felt very much troubled. 

She was with chUd; and when her time came, her father asked his 
wife the name of the man who had been with his daughter. Her 
mother asked the young woman, but she did not tell her. Therefore 
her father invited all the best woodworkcre and told them to make 
a box. They did so, and calked it with gum. When they had 
finished it, they brought it to the chief. The chief ordered his 
attendants to take it down to the bank of the river. 

Then the great chief told his men to bring down all his wealth; 
and they brought down ten costly coppere and many elk skins, 
marten blankets, and all kinds of expensive garments. They put 
the costly coppere in the bottom of the box, and spread over them elk 
skms and marten garments, and skins of many other animals. Then 
they put the princess uito the box and tied it up, by order of the 
great chief, and they threw her into the river, and the strong cur- 
rent took the box dowTi the river. The great chief was very much 
ashamed on account of what his only daughter had done. Then the 
whole village mourned for the young princess. 

Now the box drifted down river to the sea. The young woman was 
still alive m the box. For many days she floated on the water. One 
day the young woman felt that her box was being moved by great 
waves. She felt it gomg up and down the great waves on a sandy 
beach, and soon she felt that her box struck the ground. 

Now another noble family was encamped on this sandbar on Queen 
Charlotte Islands. Tliis family had lost then- young daughter not 
many days before, and the great chieftainess was mourning for her 
day by day. Early in the morning the chieftainess went out walking 
along the beach; and when she came round the sandy pouit, she sat 
dowii there, weeping; and while she was sitting there weeping, when 
she opened her eyes, she beheld a large object just under high-water 
mark. She stopped crymg and went doAvn to the place where the 
large object lay; and when she came to it, she recognized a large 
bundle of goods. She went back to her husband without touching the 
large bundle, and she said that she had found a large bundle on the 

They ran down together; and when they came to the place, thoy 
saw elk skins around it. They took their knives and cut the thongs 
with which it was tied. Then sometliing moved inside. They 
opened the skins one by one ; and as soon as the last one was off, many 
mice ran out of the bundle to the shore. 

234 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Then the chief and his wife ran back full of fear; but as soon as all 
the mice were out, they saw a lovely princess lying in there. She 
smiled when she saw the two people standing over her. Therefore 
they said, "This is our daughter that was dead. She has come back 
to life." So they took her to their- camp and carried up the costly 
things. They found costly coppers in the bottom of the box. 

Now the noble famUy was very happy because they had found 
again then beloved daughter. They loved her very much. The 
chief invited all the chiefs on Queen Charlotte Islands, and he gave his 
newly-found daughter the name of his late daughter. The chief had 
a nephew, a very excellent young man. Therefore the chief's nephew 
wanted to marry his uncle's daughter. 

Now we wUl turn to the mice. The many mice were the children 
of the young woman, which she had from her sweetheart in her father's 
house at the head of Skeena River. 

Now her cousin married her on Queen Charlotte Islands, and she 
had a son, whom she called Yoihetk; and another son was born to 
her, whom she called Gamalukt; and stUl another son was born to 
her, whom she called Gayaa. Then the chief, the father of the young 
woman, who had found her on the sand beach, died; and after the 
chief had died, another son was born to her, and she called him Bax- 

Not very long after this the wife of the chief also died, when she 
was very old. Then another child was born to her, whom she called 
Su-da'°l. Now these children were growing up together. The young- 
est children were playing about in the house, while the mother of these 
children's father was sittmg by the fire. Then one of the little chil- 
dren fell against her grandmother's back, so that she fell to the 
ground by the fire. As soon as she opened her eyes, she scolded her 
grandchildren, and said, "Nobody knows your family. You come 
from a country far away, you foolisli, common people!" 

All these children were of a noble family, therefore then mother had 
given them noble names. The children cried, and then- mother asked 
them what had happened. Then the elder girl told her mother what 
their grandmother had said to them, and the young woman went out 
and cried in the woods behind the house late in the evenmg; and the 
young mother came in again when her eldest son came home from 
hunting. He asked her what made her so sad, and his mother told 
him what his grandmother had said to his younger sisters. Then the 
young man questioned her further, and his mother told her story. 
She said to him, "This is not our tribe. Our people live far away at 
the head of a great river. Our faniUy is a noble family m a large 
town, where there are many people, and your grandfather's house is 
in the center of the town. It is a large carved house, and my uncle's 
houses are on each side of my father's house. I want you to go back 


to my country and to my people. Take all your brothei-s and your 
two sisters with you!" 

The eldest son agreed to do what his mother said. Therefore he 
asked his father to make for him a good-sized canoe. His father 
did as his son had requested. He made a very good canoe for limi; 
and after the canoe was fiiiished, they made ready to go. The father 
of the children was very sorry to know that all his children were 
going to leave him. Before they set out, their mother took them to 
the sandbar at Rose Pomt. She pointed with her fuiger a little 
south of sunrise, and said, "Keep the head of your canoe in this 
direction; and when you reach the mouth of a great river, make a 
pole with which to punt up the river; and after you have passed a 
great canyon up river, you will reach a great town. That is the 
town of your relatives. " 

Soon after she had given them this advice, the children started 
across the sea. For two days they paddled across the strait. Then 
they came to a passage between two large islands. They still kept 
the head of the canoe a little south ol sunrise, and then they arrived 
at the mouth of a great river wliich had been unknown to them before. 
They did as their mother had commanded them; and when they 
camped in a certain place, they prepared a polo to use on the river. 
On the following morning they started agam, going up the river. 
Their father had loaded their canoe with meat of seals, sea lions, 
halibut, and all kinds of sea animals, also with shellfish. They went 
up the river day after day. Now they arrived at a large canyon, as 
their mother had told them, and after four days they had passed 
through the canyon. Another day passed, and they saw a large 
town before them. Toward evening they arrived below the large 
town and camped there; and before they walked up on the trail that 
led up to the town, they turned their good canoe upside down, and it 
was transformed mto a little hill, and all the animals were changed 
into stones, which are there up to this day. 

In the evening they walked up to the village, at the time when all 
the young people of the village were walkmg on the street. Then 
this noble family walked up and down, and nobody knew who these 
strangers were. They saw a large house m the center of the towai, 
and their mother had told them that this was their grandfather's 
house. They met a young man, whom they asked, "To whom does 
this large house belong?" The young man told them that it was a 
great chief's house. The eldest son understood the language of his 
mother, while the rest used the Haida language. Then the young 
man ran into the chief's house and told hun that some strangers were 
standmg outside — four young men and two young women. There- 
fore the chief sent four of his young men to call them in. The mes- 
senger went out on the street and told them that the chief mvited 
them to come in. Then the chief ordered his men to spread a good 

236 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

mat by the side of his large fire, and they sat do^vIl there. Then the 
eldest son inquired if a chief of this town had cast out his daughter 
years ago on the river, and the new chief remembered that his uncle 
had cast out his only daughter on the river years ago. Therefore they 
said, "Yes, we do remember it." Then the eldest son said, "We are 
her children." 

The whole village was astir that night, and the new chief invited 
all the old men, and he told them that these four princes and two 
princesses were the grandchildren of his late imcle. The wise men 
asked the princes for their names, and the eldest one told them his 
own name, Yoihetk; the second brother's name, Gamalukt; the third 
brother's name, Gayaa; the fourth one's, Bax-gwan; the elder girl's 
name, Gundax; and the younger girl's name, Su-da'°l. He told them 
that their mother had given them these names. Then all the wise men 
received them gladly. They lived m their grandfather's house, and 
aU the people loved them very much. 

Now we will turn again to the mother of the young princes and of 
the princesses on Queen Charlotte Islands. As soon as her children 
had gone away, she went into the woods weepmg. She wandered 
away. While she was walking in the woods, she came upon a narrow 
trail. There she met some young people, good-looking young people, 
who asked her, "Why are you so sad?" She told them what had 
happened to all her children. She said, "All my children have gone 
to our old home, and I am left alone in this strange land, without 
relatives. I have only my husband." Therefore these young people 
said, "We are your children, too. Don't be so sorrowful! Come 
with us to our house, and you shall see how many children you have 
with you in this strange country!" 

Therefore the woman went with them. They came to a large 
town, and crowds of people assembled around her. When all the 
people had assembled, one of them spoke: "Now, my dear mother, 
we all are your children. Our old grandfather cast you into the 
river, and us too. Therefore we are here. We can not go back to 
our own native country, therefore we built a town here. You shall 
stay with us here, for you brought us to this side. We will keep you 
as long as you live." 

The woman, however, wanted to bring her husband with her, but 
they would not allow it. Then the woman agreed to their request. 
This town was the town of the many Mice — the children of the woman 
and her Mouse lover, who came to her in her father's house in her 
native land, when she was young. Now they had a dance in their 
house to comfort their mother, and they danced day by day. Soon 
after their meal every morning they would dance. 

One day the husband of this woman went into the woods to search 
for his wife, but he could not find her. He went on day after day. 



One day the woman went back of her children's town to refresh her- 
self, as she used to do every day. Then she thought that she heard 
a low moan a little distance away, that called her name. She recog- 
nized her husband's voice, and went toward the voice secretly. She 
heard him, and then she called him to come. He embraced her, but 
bis wife told him her whole story, and said that her children were 
dancing. So the man was very anxious to see the dance. She 
hastened to go home. Her husband would not let her go, but asked 
her to come back to his owai home, but she would not go. She 
said, "Go away, for my children will kill you ! They will soon come 
to look for me." The man, however, still held her in Ms arms. At 
last four young men came to caU their mother to the house. They 
saw the man with their mother, and they said that they must kill 
him. But theu' mother said, "Not so, my children! Be kind to 
him. He is my husband. He is like your father. He wishes very 
much to see /our dance." Then they agreed to their mother's 
request. They said, "We will allow him four days in our midst. 
Then he must go away to his own house." Evenmg came, and they 
began to dance until late at night. Thus this man learned their song 
and the dances that they had. The whole village was asleep in the 
daytime; but before dusk they awoke, took their meal, and after they 
had eaten they began to dance. AU the people of the village came 
to the house where their mother was, and danced there all night until 

At the end of four days they sent the man back to his own home, 
and they said, "After four days more we shall send our mother back 
to you ; " and the Chief Mouse commanded him : ' ' Don't maltreat any 
mouse when you human beings see one on your way or in your house, 
lest you be beset by dangers, for all the mice on this island are of 
noble blood. Therefore if any human being does something bad to a 
mouse, we shall kill him. I will give you a dancing-feather, a neck- 
band, and a skm drum. Then you shall teach your people how to 

As soon as the Chief Mouse had spoken, the man left and went to 
his own home. Then all his people came to him into his house, and 
the man taught them his song. When all his people knew how to 
sing this song, he put on his eagle feather and his necklace, then he 
began to dance; and all his people came to see him — men, women, 
and children — and everybody was delighted to see this dance. 

At the end of four days the wife also came. She was a good singer, 
therefore all the women stood around her to learn her songs, and 
she taught them. Thus all the different villages on Queen Charlotte 
Islands learned how to dance, because the Mouse taught them. 
When the chiefs of all the tribes assembled at a dance in a chief's 

238 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. Ann. 31 

town, the singers assembled in his house. Thus the chief became 
the head of his people, and they had dances all the time. That is 
the end. 

34. The Young Chief Who Married his Cousin* 

There was the town of G'it-qxa'la, and the great chief there had a 
beautiful daughter. He had also a nephew who was to succeed to 
his place when he himself should die. This young chief was very 
wealthy, because he was a good hunter. The young chief wanted 
to marry his uncle's daughter. The great chief agreed, and one day 
he married her. The young woman loved him very much, and he 
also loved her very much. 

A year passed after they had married, and the young chief wanted 
to take another princess to be his wife, for in olden times it was the 
custom of chiefs to have many wives. So it was with this young chief. 
But his former wife did not want to let her husband take another wife 
beside her. The young chief, however, wanted to follow the chiefs' 
custom to have many wives, and therefore he man-ied the other 
princess; and when he had his new wife, he still loved his own cousm, 
but she became sadder and sadder day by day. The young chief 
told her that he loved her more than his new wife, but she was sad, 
and her husband said, "I love you with all my life." 

She, however, did not listen to him; and after midwinter, when 
all the people moved to the fishing-ground, the young chief also 
moved. He took his two wives in his canoe, and his uncles moved 
with them in his own canoe. They were there on the fishing-ground. 
The young chief buUt his own new house, and his father-in-law lived 
in his old house. The young princess was still sad. She always went 
to her father's house; and when the youjig chief's slaves would bring 
salmon to the young chief, he would divide it between his two wives; 
but his first wife did not take hers because she was jealous, and she 
always went to her father's people to ask for salmon; and she took 
them to her parents, and her mother dried them for her. She became 
sadder and sadder every day, and finally she left her husband and 
lived in her father's house. 

She would go often into the woods to gather berries, and there she 
would cry, and late in the evening she would go home. Her mother 
did all she could to comfort her, but she continued to cry. 

Tliere was a high steep rock a little above their camp, which they 
called Place Of Supernatural Beings. She was sitting at the foot of 
the high rock. Every day she went into the woods to pick berries; 
and when her baskets were full, she would stay at the foot of a large 
old dry tree, weeping, for she was very unhappy. vShe did so every 
day, and in the evening she would go home. 

I Notes, p. 792. 


Before' she entered her father's house, she heard a joyful voice in 
her husband's house. Then she was still more sorrow-ful, entered her 
father's house, and went right to bed without eating anything. She 
wept all night. Early the following morning she went out again to 
pick berries; and as soon as she had filled her two baskets, she sat 
down at the same place, crying. 

While she was there, a supernatural being came to her, who asked 
her, " Why do you weep, and what makes you so sad ?" She replied, 
"Because my husband has married another prmcess. I love him, 
and that makes me sad every day." Then the supernatural being 
said, "Don't ciy! I have come to comfort you. I want you to love 
me." Then he asked her to marry him, and she agreed. She loved 
him very much. He told her that his camp was not far from hers, 
and he said, "I will come to you often." 

This young man was as bright as the sun. He was the son of the 
supernatural chief who lived m the high rock, and whose name is 
K-xamin. It stands a little above the river. The shining young 
man came to her often; and every morning when she went to pick 
berries, a supernatural being came and helped her, and sometimes a 
slipernatural being would bring them many salmon. 

Now the former husband of the young woman came often to take 
her back while the young woman was absent picking berries. He 
said to her parents that he loved her more than his new wife. When 
she came back, they told her, but she did not want him any more. 

Soon this young woman was with child. In the fall the young 
chief moved back to his own village, with his uncle's whole tribe; 
but the young woman's father remained behind. He staid there in 
winter, and the supernatm^al being brought all kinds of animals to his 

In midwmter the people moved again, and went to the same 
campmg-ground as before, and there a boy was born to the woman. 
He was like to his supernatural father. As soon as the nephew had 
put up his camp, he went to his uncle's house; and when he came in, 
the young woman went out. There he saw the bright little boy, and 
he thought it was his chUd, but it was the child of the supernatural 
being. Therefore he was very anxious to take her back, but she re- 
fused to go. Every morning the father of this child would bring 
salmon to his father-in-law. He put them down on the beach below 
the chief's house. But the young chief could not catch any salmon, 
while the young woman's father was successful in everything. 
His house was full of all kinds of food, while in the house of his 
nephew was not enough food for all his people. Tlaerefore the men 
of his tribe brought him salmon and berries; and before the fall of 
the year the young chief's new wife called all the young people, men 
and women, and bade them help her pick wild crabapples on her 

240 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

husband's crabapple ground and knife grass ground (?).' Two large 
canoes full of young men and young women started to pick crab- 
apples for the second Avife of the young chief. They went up 
shouting for joy. 

When they had gone, the supernatural being came to his secret 
wife, and asked her, "Did you go with your parents when they went 
to pick wild crabapples?" She said, "No," because she was much 
ashamed because the second wife of the young chief had made fun of 
her. Then the supernatural being said to her, "You must go with 
them, for my father's slaves will pick wild crabapples for you." 
Therefore she went with them; and the supernatural bemg said to 
her, "Take many mats with you, many boxes, and many baskets!" 
and she did what the supernatural being had told her to do. Thej' 
took a large canoe and went up above the high rock and camped 
there. Then the supernatural bemg came to them on the camping- 
ground. They saw a crabapple tree full of crabapples; and the 
supernatural being said again, "I give these to my child. Clear 
the ground at the foot of the crabapple tree, and spread your mats 
all around it." She did so; and after she had cleared the ground, 
she spread the mats. They sat down on the beach, her parents a 
Httle beyond their daughter, who had gone to pick the large crab- 
apples. Then all the leaves of the crabapple tree began to shake, 
although the yomig woman did not see any one on the tree. 

She loved her supernatural husband. In the afternoon he said to 
her, "Go and see what has happened to your crabapple tree." She 
went up to the foot of the crabapple tree, and saw a great pUe of 
crabapples on every mat which she had spread there, and there were 
no small leaves. She ran to the place where her parents were, and 
called them, "Come, parents, and look here!" Her mother came 
down from the tree, and she ran to her daughter, and they saw great 
piles of crabapples on every mat, and she saw the leaves in heaps by 
themselves on one side of the tree. She called her husband, and the 
old chief came to her and saw these things. 

Then the supernatural being spoke agam to his wife, and said, 
"Tell your parents to cook these crabapples tonight, before they 
waste away!" Therefore the old chief built a large fire, put stones 
into it, put water into a square box, threw the red-hot stones mto it 
to make it boil, and when the water was boiling, they threw the 
crabapples into the hot water and covered the box. They finished 
this durhig the night. They filled ten or more large baskets. 

The slaves of the supernatural being were the silver-blue cod, and 
these had picked the crabapples. They were the slaves of the super- 

• This word is unknown to me. I give Mr. Tate's translation. The original sentence reads: Adat 
gaxlgo'dEt dEmt sa-k!E'rElda nt'a'lgEm mi'lkst nakst, gu t!a°t nfatguda lax-ye'41. 


natural spirit who lives at the foot of Mount K-xamin, whose son 
married the young woman. 

The following day they went down to their camp, and thej' had 
ten large hoxes filled ^\•ith crabapples mixed \vith grease. 

On the following day the supernatural being came down to his 
wife, and said to her, "^fy parents want to see my chOd for a while. " 
The young woman said, ''Oh, must it be? I am afraid he will cry 
when he is there." Then the supernatural being said, "No, not so. 
Mj' father will make a cradle for him." Therefore she let him have 
the child. The supernatural being said, "Come up to the foot of 
Moimt K-xamin after two days, and stay a little below the high rock. 
There you shall have your child again." Then he went away with 
the child. After two days she said to her parents, "Take some elk 
skuis and red ocher and eagle down, and let us go up to the foot of 
Mount K-xamin to see my child which his father took away two days 
ago!" They took a canoe and went up the river to the foot of 
Mount K-xamin. As soon as they arrived, a nice carved cradle 
came dowm on the water right to the foot of the high rock, and a 
sweet lullaby was heard in the mountain, and a live cradle was rolled 
along by the waves of the river, while the eclio of the supernatural 
lullaby was hear^ on the river and on the mountain. Tlie child was 
sound asleep in the cradle, and they learned the supernatural lullaby 
while the live cradle Avent up and down on the waves of the river. 

As soon as the lullaliy ceased, the live cradle came right toward the 
canoe. Then the young woman heard her husband's voice, saying, 
"Take him!" The young woman took up the cradle; and the old 
chief took two elk skins, and said, "I present these elk skins to you, 
for you made my gi-andchild's carved cradle." He tlirew them on 
the water, and the two elk skins went dowTi ; and he threw red ocher 
and eagle down into the water, which also went down. 

Before the people went home to their village, the supernatural 
being said to his wife, "This year you may go home with the rest of 
your father's people, and I will still be with you and help you. Let 
no one marry you. I shall slay the woman who married your 
former husband." Then he went away. 

The boy grew up rapidly and came to be a j-outh. One day they 
moved to theu- home, but the chief did not camp with his nephew. 
There were many people ui the young chief's camp. They were 
always merry. Before thej- arrived at liome, the chief's new wife 
took a good-sized canoe with some slaves, and went ahead of all. the 
canoes, full of J03-. Wliile they were on their way, a great many 
killer whales came up, and one of them jumped on the canoe in 
which the new wife of the young chief was. It capsized, and she 
was drownied together with some slaves, and the young chief was in 
deep sorrow, and mourned for the death of his new wife. At last 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 16 

242 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

they arrived at home. The supernatural being had sent the killer 
whale to upset the canoe of the chief's new wife, who was drowned in 
the water. 

Now, the supernatural being came to his wife by night, and told 
her that he had killed the woman who had made her unhappy. 
Two days after all the people had arrived at home, the old chief 
arrived. Then they heard a great noise in the house of the young 
chief. They asked some people what had happened to the young 
chief, and they told them that the chief's new vnle was drowned by 
killer whales jumping on her canoe. 

Then the old chief gave a great feast and showed his grandchild to 
the people. The chUd grew up and became an expert hunter and 
expert at halibut fishing, and he obtained all kinds of fish and water 
animals, large and small, and he was richer than any one else. He 
gave many feasts to all the tribes, and many chiefs wanted to marry 
his mother, but she refused. She did not want to marry again. 

Her former husband also wanted to marry her again, but she 
refused. Many years passed, and the wife of the old chief died. 
Then the son of the supernatural being was lonely, and said to his 
mother, "Let us camp somewhere with my grandfather!" Hismother 
agreed, and they moved, and camped away from tli* village. 

One day the yoimg man's mother spoke to him, and said, "My 
son, I want to say this to you: you ought to marry some princess!" 
but he replied, "No." And while they were encamped there, the 
supernatm-al bemg came and brought them many halibut, seals, 
sea lions, and other animals. They dried them, and built four large 
houses for drying halibut and seal and sea lion; and when the four 
houses were full, they built another four, and filled them with whale 
blubber; and the supernatural being and his son brought four great 
whales, and he obtained many large water animals. ]\Iany houses 
were full of seal, sea lion, and whales. He caught four large whales, 
and they tied them to the beach. Seals and sea lions were lying 
about, and there was a smell of grease all along the beach in front of 
their camp, and the oil of the great whales covered the water of the 

At the same time many people died because there was no food in 
their village. One day early in the morning the old chief took a 
canoe and went to the village. He loaded his canoe with seal meat 
and fat and sea-lion meat and fat and also with whale blubber and 
dried halibut. When his people saw the canoe coming, they all 
went down to the beach, and the old chief gave each man a piece of 
seal meat and fat, sea lion meat and fat, and whale blubber; and he 
told the people that they had an abundance of food and that many 
houses were full of meat and fat, of whales, sea lions, seals, and of 
dried halibut; and he said, "Four great whales are tied to the beach 
at our camp, and sea lions, seals, and halibut are lying about." 


Wlien all the tribes round about heard that there was plenty to eat 
in the camp of the old chief, they loaded their canoes with elks, 
spoons of elk antler, and slaves, to present them to then- old chief. 
They brought enough elk skins to fill two houses; and when all the 
tribes round' about heard that there was plenty to eat in the old 
chief's camp, they went there to buy meat — the Tsimshian, G"it!araa't, 
Bellabella, the people from China Hat, and all the tribes speaking 
different languages. They bought dried meat and fresh meat, whale 
blubber, and fat of sea lions and seals, and so on. They bought them 
with slaves, many large coppers, and four houses full of elk skins, 
and they had many thousand raccoon skins, and spoons of elk antler, 
and horn spoons; and when all the buyers had assembled, the old 
chief gave a great feast to the people speaking different languages — 
those who had bought the meat and fat in his camp; and he gave 
away many slaves and canoes and elk skins, and raccoon skins; and 
the mother of his grandson gave away many spoons of elk antler, 
horn spoons, and many boxes of whale oil, and many boxes of sea- 
lion oil and seal oil. 

Then the old chief gave his name to his grandson, and he gave to 
his daughter a great woman's name; and when all the chiefs were 
satisfied, they honored the young chief, and he became great among 
the people, and the people of his own tribe honored the young chief. 

A little later his grandfather died, and he gave a great feast to all 
the tribes. He became richer and richer because he was a great 
hunter and his father was a supernatural being; and his name was 
great among the people speaking different languages as far as the 
Bellabella and Tsimshian extend, but he never married. His mother 
also was great among the princesses. She also was afraid to marry, 
lest her supernatural husband should be angry with her. 

(The supernatural being had told his wife that this would be the 
last time he would visit her. He said, "Let my son help you to 
everything you need." Then he disappeared.) 

35. The Story of Asdi-wa'l.' 

(Printed in Boas 13, pp. 71-146.) 

36. Waux, the Son of Asdi-w.\'l' 

In the story of Asdi-wa'l we did not tell about his only son. Now 
we will take it up again, at the time when Asdi-wa'l was living 
among his brothers-in-law. 

His wife loved him very much because she thought he was a super- 
natural being. Not many days after they had married, the young 
woman bore him a son; and his father, Asdi-wa'l, called his son Waux. 
That means " verj^ light. " This son would fly away like a spark. 

> Notes, pp. 747, 759, 792. 

244 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth axn. 31 

The child grew up and became strong in his mind. He went 
everywhere with his father. He went hunting in the woods or on the 
shppery rocks above the mountains; and he knew well how to hunt, 
because his father taught him how to hunt wild animals. When he 
went up the mountains with his father, his father would give him a 
spear and his dogs, and also his large huntmg-hat, his little basket, 
and mat blanket, and his pole, to take care of while he crept up to 
the animals. He himself only took his bow and arrows and his 

The boy loved his father very much. When he moved to Nass 
River with his father and his uncles, they stopped halfway, and the 
young man went up the mountains with his father Asdi-wa'l. There 
they killed some bears m their dens. When they came home late in the 
evening, the boy told his uncles how many black beare his father had 
slain, and the young man took care of all the weapons which his 
father had given him. 

When his uncles left his father at KsE-ma'ksEn, the boy did not 
want to go %vith them, but they compelled him to do so. Therefore 
he wept bitterly with his mother all the way while they were going 
up to Nass River. 

Not many days after they arrived at Nass River, the mother and 
her son took a canoe by night and came down from Nass River, 
trying to find Asdi-wa'l. Wlaen they reached the place on the follow- 
ing day, he had disappeared, and his wife and son were full of sorrow. 
They searched KsE-ma'ksEn, and thought that some wild animal 
had come and devoured him. Then they went right down to their 
home on Skeena River. 

The young man was a very skillful hunter. He knew his father's 
hunting-ground, and he knew also how to use his father's weapons. 
He would kill all kinds of animals, and he became very rich in property. 
He had meat and tallow of all kinds of animals, fat, and skins of all 
kinds; and he made black horn spoons of mountain-goat horn, and 
spoons of elk antler, and dippers of elk antler. 

Before his mother died she wanted her son to marr}- one of her cous- 
ins, and he did what his mother wanted him to do. Not many days 
after he had married, his mother died, and the young couple were 
happy. He always went alone to hunt on his father's hunting- 
ground. He slew many animals. Sometimes his wife would go 
with hun. There was a great mountain on which his father used to 
hiuit mountain goats in the fall, when they were very fat. He went 
there, and camped in the hut that his father had buUt at the foot of 
the high mountain. 

His wife was with child, and the children struggled in her womb ; 
and when the time came, behold! she gave birth to twins. In the 
fall they moved from the village and went to the foot of the 


high mountain to live in the hunting-hut. The>^ camped there, 
as they had often done before. He killed the mountain goats, and 
they filled the hut with meat and tallow and fat. In the winter he 
went home, and gave a great feast to all the tribes of the Tsimshian, 
and he proclaimed his new name which his father Asdi-wa'l had given 
to hun as soon as he was born. His name was Waux; and he was a 
great hunter in those days, and his fame spread among all the tribes 
of the Tsunshian, and the animals of the woods knew him also. 

His two children followed hini wherever he went. One time he 
went up a newly discovered mountain, and there he lost his two 
children. They slipped on one side of that new mountain, and both 
died there in the Valley Of Supernatural Beings. Waux, however, 
was going to die there too. They mourned for the two children 
whom he had lost there. So they moved to the old hut at the foot 
of the high mountain, and Waux went every day to hunt mountam 
sheep. He enlarged the old hut which his late father had built, and 
filled it with dried meat and fat. 

Late in the fall, when the leaves were falling, he went up the same 
mountain for fresh meat. He forgot to take his spear along. He 
took only his hunting-pole and his dog, his mat blanket, his little 
root basket, and his hunting-hat. He saw great flocks of mountain 
sheep, and he pursued them, and the mountain sheep had no way to 
escape. There was only a narrow cleft on one side of the high 
mountain. Then all the sheep went into the cleft; and at the end 
of the cleft there was only bare rock like glass, and all the sheep 
slipped there. One large sheep was the last; and before the large 
sheep jumped off the slippery rock, it kicked the side of the mountain, 
and leaned its head against the rock to show that the mountain was 
angry with the hunter. 

After the sheep had done so, it leaped down the slippery rock. 
Then the high mountain shook for a while. Therefore Waux struck 
his hunting-pole through the hard rock. He took hold of it, and called 
his dog to his side. Wlien the mountain shook again, he looked 
down to his hut and shouted down to his wife, saying, "Sacrifice fat 
to the supernatural powers, for I can neither go on nor turn back!" 
The woman replied, "I can not hear what you say! What is it?" 
"Oh, sacrifice fat to a supernatural being!" She cried out and 
answered, "Shall I eat fat?" Waux answered still louder, "Offer 
to a supernatural being!" She replied agam, "Shall I eat fat?" 
Waux repeated the same words over and over again, but his wife 
repeated her own wish. 

Finally Waux shouted, and said, "Go and eat all the fat you can! 
Melt it all and eat it; and after you have eateu the melted fat, chink 
cold water and lie down across an old log!" Then she heard her 
husband's words distinctly. She hastened into the hut, made a 

246 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. a.nn. 31 

large fire, and melted much fat, and ate it all. Then she felt satisfied 
and drank much water. She went toward an old log, lay down across 
it, and her body broke apart. She was transformed into flint, which 
is still lying there at the foot of the high mountain. There is flint 
all over it, and a white stone like white marble is inside. 

Waux himself was transformed into stone, with his hunting-hat 
and his mat blanket and his pole, and his dog also was transformed 
into stone. He is standing there up to this day. The reason is that 
he forgot to take his spear. He had used the spear often before 
when some mountains were shaking. He just put the spear across 
the chasms between rocks after they had shaken, and a way opened 
for him; but this time he had no way, and his wife misunderstood 
his request to offer to a supernatural being. 

37. The Blind Git-q!a">da' 

In a camp at the mouth of a creek was a blind man. He used to 
camp there before he was blind and when he was a hunter. His 
wife and little son, who loved him very much, were with him. They 
were camping there, waituig for the salmon-run. They had a good 
little hunting-hut. Thoy waited there a long time for the salmon, 
until the fall. Then, when the salmon were in the brook, the woman 
and her son went up the brook and caught a few salmon, striking 
them with a harpoon. Then they carried them down to the hut 
wliere the old blind hunter was. This was while the leaves were 
falling and before the wild animals got into their dens. 

Early one morning the woman said she would go to gather bark 
for winter fuel. She did so. She would alwa3's go with her little 
son. Late in the evening they came home. They did so every day. 
Very early one morning the boy went out; and while he was sitting 
outside, he looked across the brook, and, behold! a great grizzly bear 
was coming down to the stream, looking for old dead salmon, which he 
intended to eat before his long sleep in his den in the long winter. 
Therefore the boy ran in and told his blind father that a great gi-izzly 
bear was coming down on the other side of the stream. The blind 
man said, "Take me out!" So the boy took him by the hand and 
led him outside. He said again, "Run in and bring my bow and my 
good arrow!" The boy did as his father had said. He brought him 
the bow and the good arrow, and gave them to his blind father. 
Then his father said, "Now take the end of my arrow and point it 
at the shoulder of that great grizzly bear, that I may hit its heart!" 
The boy did as his father had told him. He took the point of the 
arrow and directed it toward the grizzly bear's shoulder. Then the 
boy said, " Now shoot!" The old hunter used all his strength to pull 
his bow, and he shot it. The arrow went right through the great 

' Notes, p. 825. 


grizzly bear's heart, and it lay there dead. The old hunter said, "I 
killed it with one shot," for he heard the grizzly bear groan, and after 
a short time the groan ceased. He said again, "Now it is dead, for 
I hit the heart." 

Then his wife came out and made fun of him, and said, "Oh, yes! 
you killed it!" The blind man said, "Yos, I killed it." Then his 
wife laughed at him. The woman knew that he had killed the 
grizzly bear, yet she did not want to give him any of the grizzly-bear 
meat. Therefore she said to her blind husband that he had missed 
it. She thought that if her husliand should die soon, she might marry 
a man better than he. 

Late in the afternoon that woman said to her son, "Let us go across, 
my son, to get bark! We shall be back late in the evening." Then 
they went to where the great grizzly bear lay dead; and when they 
came there, she said to the boy, "Xow, my son, don't tell your father 
that he killed this grizzly bear! You and I will eat its meat and fat." 
Then she cut it up and filled her canoe twice, and late in the evening 
she came home. She had washed the arrow thoroughly. The blind 
man asked, "Did you find ray arrow, my dear?" The boy said, 
"Yes, father!"— "then bring it to me!" "^Then his wife brought it 
to him, and said, "Here is your arrow with which you shot the old 
log over there!" Then the old hunter took his good and successful 
arrow, felt of it and smelled of it, and said, "Yes, I know that I 
have killed the animal. I can smell the fat." 

Then his wife was angry. He said again, "O my successful arrow! 
I have smelled the fat of the great grizzly bear." 

Every morning she went out to gather bark wdth her son. She 
built a great fu"e and cooked as much of the grizzly-bear meat as she 
wanted, and she and her son ate all they wanted. Late in the evening 
every day she came home. She told her son many times not to tell 
his father that he had killed the gi-eat giizzly bear, lest he should eat 
the meat and it would all be consumed, and they would die of star- 
vation. She continued, "Let him die, for he is old and bUnd and 
of no use." 

The boy, however, did not listen to what she told him every day, 
for he loved his old father very much. He was always with him in 
his poor bed, and slept with him often. One night they went to bed 
early, and the boy whispered to his old father, "Father, you killed 
that gi'eat grizzly bear a few days ago. Here is a httle meat which 
I hid behind my ear, for mother does not want me to tell you that 
we have plenty, lest you eat of the meat and fat. We always eat 
meat and fat every day. My mother makes a large fire out there, 
and she cooks the meat and fat, and she said that she would whip 
me if I should tell you. Here, I will give you this meat! Eat, my 
father! I don't want you to die! Do eat this, father!" 

248 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

His father, however, refused, and said, " Go ou, my dear son, eat 
it!" Then the old man began to cry. He cried the whole night, 
and before daylight he said to his son, " My dear son, I want you to 
lead me on the trail that leads toward the lake up in the woods." 
The boy asked him, " What are you going to do, father ? ' ' He replied, 
"I will stay there and comfort myself." The lad said again, "No, 
I will not do it, father; you might die!" but the old man said, "If 
you love me, my son, do what I have asked you to," and the boy 
agreed; but he said, "Only don't kill yourself!" — "Xo, no!" said 
the old man, "but don't let your mother know about it." They 
went farther down from the hut and came to the trail which led up 
to the lake. They went on and on until they arrived at the lake. 

Then the old man said, "Now go back to your mother, my son, and 
let me sit down here!" The boy asked to be allowed to stay with 
him, but his father sent him down to his mother. They were both 
crying when they parted. The boy went down, and the old man 
remained sitting there alone, crying. He cried a whole day, and 
nothing would stop him. After a while, when it was near sunset, 
he heard a loon crying on the lake. The bhnd man was stUl crying. 
Agaui he heard the loon still nearer the place where he was sitting. 
He continued to cry. He heard the loon a third time quite near to the 
place where he was sitting, and a little later some one nudged him, 
and asked him, "Why do you weep V He answered, " O Supernatu- 
ral One! I am in great distress. My wife has used me very badly." — 
"What do you want me to do for you?" said the supernatural being. 
The blind man said, "O Supernatural One! restore my eyesight." 
The Supernatural One said, "Turn toward me ! " Then the bhnd man 
hastened to turn toward the supernatural being, who took some 
rubbish from his right eye and from his left eye. The supernatural 
being threw this mass on the water. Then he said to the blind man, 
"Do you see me now?" The blind man said, "I just see a Httle 
light." So the supernatural being put out his hands and took some 
more bad blood out of his eyes, and said, "You are a careless hunter. 
Why don't you hide your face when bad things pass in front of your 
eyes while you are sitting down? Now tell me if you can see that 
place." The blind man said, "It is not very clear." 

The supernatural being did this three times; and after he had 
done it four times, he vanished from his sight. Then the blind man 
went mto the water, and saw that it was fuU of all kinds of rubbish — 
blood, ashes, hair, smoke, steam, dust, and so on. He was very glad, 
and wanted to know who had opened his eyes. 

On the following morning he hid himself, that his son should not 
see him if he should come. Early the following morning the boy 
awoke and ran up the trail to the lake; and when he came to the 
place where his old blind father had been sitting, no one was to be 


found; and he began to cry and call his beloved father, but nobody 
answered. He saw blood in the water, and thought some wild ani- 
mal had eaten him m the night, and he felt very sad. He went down 
the trail, crying and calling. His mother heard him when he came 
down the trail crying. She awoke, and wanted to know who was 
there. Behold! the boy was commg along crying, and said, "Some 
wild animal has devoured my poor father!" 

The boy's mother was angry wth her son, and said, "Stop crying! 
Let us be glad that your father is dead. Come and eat this rich 
meat! Stop at once, or I shall whip you!" The boy was afraid of 
her, and stopped crying; but he did not eat much, because he was 
thinking of his father. 

After they had eaten, she said to the boy, "Let us go to get 
bark!" The boy, however, lay down on his old father's bed, weeping, 
and his mother went alone. She followed the trail; and when she 
reached the place, she saw something that had been dragged down 
into the water, and she saw blood mixed with rubbish, and she 
believed that her husband was dead. She was glad. She went a 
little farther down along the trail, and saw a large pile of thick bark 
some distance away from the trail. So she went toward it and 
piled it up. 

Now the man went down another way when he heard his wife 
singing happily instead of singing a mourning-song. He passed her, 
and went right down to the hut. Behold! there was his son lying 
on his bed cryhig. He said to his son, "My dear son, I am still 
alive, and my eyes are open again! I can see clearly. Do not cry! 
Come, let us close up every hole in this hut, and I shall shut the door. 
Let your mother stay outside this night!" After they had eaten 
their supper, he went to bed with liis beloved son. 

Late in the evening the woman came home, and the door was shut 
against her. She knocked at it, and said, "My dear son, did your 
father come home, or are you still alone ? " and there came no answer. 
She said to her husband, "Take pity on me! I feel very cold out 
here." Still no answer came from them. She felt very cold, and 
said, "Do open the door for me, my clear son ! " Her voice was shaking 
on account of the cold. She said, "Take pity on me, lest I freezp 
to death!" 

Before dayUght she was transformed into a hooting owl. Then 
the man ran out and opened the door. He saw an owl fljnng away. 
It alighted on a tree that stood near the hut, and hooted. So the 
man said, "Go away into the woods, owl!" and he became again a 
great hunter. 

Not many years passed, and he went alone into the mountains. 
He had often heard an owl hooting since his wife had been transformed 
into an owl; and one night when he was alone in the mountams, he 

250 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

heard again the hooting of an owl; and he said, "You foohsh woman, 
go away from me! I don't want you to come near my camp!" 
Then the owl stopped hooting when she heard what her husband 
said, and the man forgot that he had been talking to the owl. He 
went out of his hut, and the owl flew just above his head, and he fell 
dead right there. 

38. Local Winter ix Git-q!a'°da^ 

Before the Deluge the Tsimshian lived on the upper course of 
Skeena River. There was the great village of the G'it-q !a'°da, 
and in it were many people. They had only one great chief who 
commanded his people and made laws for them in regard to every- 

The son of that chief of the G'it-q !a'°da had married according to 
their custom, in winter. He was a young man of very good mind. 
Shortly after he had married, there was a great famine all along the 
coast. In the spring a man cut a hole in the ice on Skeena River and 
put down his bag net. He caught a spring salmon. His wife steamed 
it in a box and put small sticks tlu-ough the spring salmon the width 
of a finger apart. Then he invited all his tribe, and the people were 
very glad to have a fresh spring salmon. The starvation was almost 
forgotten; and after they had eaten, they went to their own houses, 
taking part of the boiled salmon to their wives and children. 

While they were on their way home, a snowstorm came up; and 
one man named G'augun took off the cover from his salmon, stretched 
both his hands toward Heaven, and said, "How is it? Do you think 
winter is coming back again ? Look at the fresh boiled spring salmon 
that I have in my hand ! Shame on you for letting it snow every day !" 
Then he went home and gave his boiled salmon to his wife and his 
children. After they had eaten, they felt satisfied. 

Then all the people of the village were ready to go fisliing the next 
mornmg on the ice. In the same night a heavy snowstorm set m, 
and it continued until the food of all the people was gone, and there 
was a very bad famine among the people. Many died of starvation. 
No one was able to work and to get food, on account of the snow- 

The wife of the newly married prince had given birth to a child; 
and while it was snowing every day, the whole tribe died. Only the 
prince and his wife remained alive. They ate very little food once 
a day. The young woman would boil a little piece of dried salmon, 
and would take the souj) for the child that she was nursing, while the 
prince ate a piece of the salmon. 

Soon their food was gone. Then the cliild died, foi- the mother 
had no milk for it. On the day after the child had died, a blue- 

1 Notes, p. 829. ' Then follows a description of tlie marriage customs given on p. 532. 



jay was sitting iii the smoke hole with a large cluster of ripe elder- 
berries in its bill. The bud opened its mouth, crying, "Qwash, 
qwash, ([U^ash!" When the elderberries dropped down, the yoiuig 
woman arose and took them and showed them to her starvmg hus- 
band. Their hearts felt relieved. Then the woman said to her 
husband, "Be of good cheer, my dear! Let us try to leave this 
desolate place, and we shall find summer, for the supernatural power 
sends a large cluster of elderberries to sht>w us that summer has 

Now, they made ready to go to another j>laco wlrile it was still 
snowing heavily. On the followmg day they put on their snowshoes 
and went down river, leaving theh- old home. They struggled along 
in the snow. The prmce was very weak because he was starvmg, 
and his wife suckled him twice a day. They traveled for one day 
from the old village site, and they passed out of the snow and reached 
a place where it was summer. When they looked behind, black 
clouds were still hanging over the village. They went farther down 
the river and made a camp. The prince was still very weak, and 
the young woman suckled him. Then she went down to the river 
to fetch water, and brought it to her husband, and she would always 
see small trout among the stones in the shallow water. On the 
following day she told her husband that she had seen many trout 
among the stones in the shallow water. Therefore the weak prince 
took his knife and split a small piece of red cedar, and made out of it 
a fish trap. The young woman took it down to the river and placed 
it among the stones where the small trout were. There she left it 
over night. On the following mornijig she went dowii, and, behold! 
the trap was full of small trout. She took them to her sick lausband. 
She boiled them in a root basket and took them to her husband. 
She gave him a wooden spoon, but the i)rince declined it. He said, 
"You shall eat it, and you shall go on sucklmg me." The young 
woman did so every day until the prince was a little stronger. Then 
he made a larger trap, for larger trout; and every night theA^ caught 
many trout, and also eels. They dried some of the trout and eels, 
and the pruice made a stUl larger trap for salmon. Then he caught 
many sprmg salmon. 

Next he made two large traps, and he also built a wen on one side 
of the Skeena River, and put two large salmon traps in the deep 
water at the end of the bridge. He built a house for smoking salmon. 
Then they had plenty to eat. There was no longer any famine. In 
midsummer they dried all kinds of berries, and at the end of the 
summer the prince built a large canoe; and after the canoe was 
finished, they loaded it with all kinds of dried salmon and boxes of 
dried berries. They went down river, and camped at Fall Camp. 

252 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Oil the following day they went up to Ksdal. They reached the 
mouth of the river; and as they camped there, they unloaded their 
canoe, and built a house in the strange country, which was unknown 
to them. In the autumn he often went up the mountains to hunt 
goats whUe his wife staid at home with her unborn child, and the 
prince killed many mountain goats. He took their meat and their 

At the head of the brook he saw a large lake. One day he was 
thhiking of it, and in whiter he went up to the large lake and walked 
on the ice on his snowshoes. Then he went up the mountam at the 
end of the great lake. When he reached the top, he looked down on 
the other side, and there he saw smoke ascending in the valley. It 
was toward evenmg, and he went back to his camp. Late in the 
night he came home. His wife was crying, thmldng that she had 
lost Imn. Then he told her that he had seen smoke on the other 
side of the mountain which he had climbed. They lived there all 
winter, and their provisions lasted until the following summer. 
Toward the end of a hard winter they went across the lake m their 
canoe. They carried enough food with them, and their new child. 
They walked up the mountain, and soon they reached the foot of 
the mountam on the other side. Then they walked down over a 
large plain, and a brook ran thi'ough the plain. They walked down 
alongside the brook; and when they arrived at its mouth, they saw 
a house on the other side of it. Therefore they called for some one 
to take them over. Then a small canoe came across. They crossed 
the brook, and they met four young men who were encamped there 
in a small hut, and who gave them food. They were very friendly 
to these four young men. The eldest of them was in love with 
the girl, and the girl also loved him dearly. At last the father of the 
girl became sick and died, and a few days after, her mother also was 
taken sick and died. Then the girl lived alone with these four 
young men. 

(These four young men were the offspring of a wild duck who was 
sent by the daughter of the South Wind whUe she was ha the house of 
Chief North Wmd, where she was almost frozen.) 

The eldest of the young men wanted to marry the girl, and she 
agreed, so they were married. Then the girl gave birth to four 
children at one time, as ducks lay eggs m the spring; and the next 
spring four other children were born. They grew up to be men and 
women. Every tune she would give bnth to four children at a 
time, and they began to buUd a village there; and when then- mother 
died, they had begun to be a large and powerful people; and wherever 
these people moved, there was a heavy snowdrift on the ground. 

Therefore it is told among these people that no one should throw 
stones at wild ducks ui whiter, lest a heavy snowstorm should set in. 

boas] tsimshian myths 253 

39. The Drifting Log' 

There was a great war at G'itslEmga'lon between two clans — the 
GispawadwE'da and the Eagle Clan. The Eagle people were defeated 
by the G ispawadwE'da. There was a great battle on that day. Many 
Eagle people were killed by thek enemies. The last day they had 
a very hot battle, and nearly all the Eagle people were destroyed, 
and their chief fled with his young niece. The chief's name was 
Nes-wa-na'°, and the girl's name was Daul. They crossed the high 
mountains between Skeena and Nass Rivers. Many days they 
walked along the trail; anfl when they arrived at a village on the 
upper Nass River, at their Eagle relatives on Nass River, they were 
received gladly, and Nes-wa-na'° became their chief. 

In the spring, when the people were expected to come olachen 
fishing, they moved down to their fishing-ground and camped on 
Sandbar Camp. The olachen came up the river, and all the people 
were very busy. Then the childi-en were always in the way of the 
fishermen, and some of the children were hurt and died. Some fell 
into the water and were drowned, and so on. 

One day the new chief invited all his people to a council to talk 
about the children — how they could keep them safely in an empty 
house, and how some one should take good care of them. On the 
following day the children were gathered together in the new chief's 
house, but the boys were always fighting with the girls. Therefore 
another day they separated them, the boys by themselves, and the 
girls by themselves. 

A great number of girls went and found a hollow log lying above 
high-water mark. Their parents had chosen the princess Daul to 
take care of them, and all the girls loved her very much. They 
went into the hollow log and played that it was then' house. They 
started a fire in it and ate there, and their parents cairied great 
quantities of provisions into the small log; and they had many gar- 
ments of black and arctic fox, martens, raccoons, weasels, and all 
kinds of costly garments. They staid there a long time, while the 
people were working, and all the children loved the j^oung princess as 
children love their mother. 

One night the tide was liigher than it had been for many years, 
and the liigh tide carried away the large hollow log from its place 
wliile the children were asleep in it. The log floated out to sea with 
many children in it. Early the next morning the princess awoke and 
went out and saw that the log had drifted away. 

Before the log had drifted away, a young prince had given her a 
young eagle as a present. She loved the young eagle, and tamed it, 
and the young eagle learned to understand her words. Then she 

1 Notes, p. 831. 

254 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

knew what had happened; and when the princess went nearer the 
young eagle, it was flying with its mistress, and the princess named 
it Young Eagl.e. 

She cried; but wlien she went back into the hollow log, she stopped 
crying. She was afraid that if the cliildren should know what had 
happened, they might faint. Therefore she tried everything to 
comfort them. The log was drifting way out on the great ocean. 

When the parents of the children missed the hollow log from its 
place, they began to cry. They took their canoes, and went down 
the river to search for their children, but in vain. They cUd not 
find them. They went back liome, full of sorrow on account of the 
loss of their children and of their young princess. 

The young eagle was seated on a root of the hollow log in which 
the children were; and after a few days liad passed, the young eagle 
flew back to Nass River. When all the people in the village were 
lamenting, the young eagle flew down from high up in the air, and 
alighted on the roof of the house of the princess's grandfather, and 
screeched. Then all the people of the village knew that the cliildren 
were still alive. After the eagle had screeched, it flew away down 
to the mouth of Nass River. 

The log was still drifting about way out on the ocean, and the 
tide took it out between Queen Charlotte Islands and Prince of Wales 
Island, and took it along the south side of Prince of Wales Island. 

The people of a Haida village were camped on the outer coast 
for halibut fishing; and when the sun set in the west and great 
waves rolled up on the sandy shore at the end of the camp of the 
Haida tribe, the log was carried ashore by the waves and grounded 
there; and when the tide receded, the princess said to all the children, 
"Now, cliildren, come out!" Therefore all the children came out, 
and the princess said to them, "Now go up to the woods beliind the 
village, and I will go in front." It was evening now, and all the 
children went up into the woods. Then she walked in front of the 
houses of the camp, and stopped in front of the chief's liouse. Many 
young people passed her without noticing her; and while she was 
standing there, some one came up from the beach. It was a young 
prince, who asked her where she came from and where she belonged; 
and she answered in her own language, which the prince did not 
understand, and the young princess did not understand what he 
said. The young man wanted to take her into his father's house. 
The princess first refused, but finally she went with him. The prince 
stopped the young men who were playing at the door of his father's 
house, and led her into the cliief's house, who ordered Ms young men 
to spread mats at one side of the house. 

Then the great chief said, "My son shall marry you because I am 
your relative. What is your name, my dear (" but she did not under- 


stand what .he said. Therefore they called one of liis female slaves 
who understood the Tsimshian language to be his interpreter; and the 
interpreter said, "The great cliief asked for your name." She replied 
through the interpreter, "My name is Daul. I am the niece of the 
great chief G"it-xS.'n and Nes-wa-na'°. They were all killed by the 
enemy. He was the only one who made his escape from them. He 
took me across the mountains, and at a river on the other side of 
the mountain we found our relatives, who treated us well; and the 
whole village loved my uncle and myself. When the olachen came 
up the river, they moved down to their camping-ground ; and they 
did not want my uncle to work himself, so they gave him all their 
children to take care of while the people went out fishing, and they 
gave me the girls to take care of. I took them into a large hollow 
tree which lay above high-water mark, and one night the high tide 
carried it away, and we drifted away from there to this place." After 
she had said tliis, she began to cry. 

Then the great chief said, "My niece, my son shall marry you." 
She rephed, "I will do so if you will promise to take care of my girls." 
Therefore the cliief said, "We \vill take care of them as though they 
were our children." Then she sent the young men to bring them 

The young men went and shouted; but the girls were afraid, and 
ran away, for it was the first time they heard the Haida language. 
The young men came to the cliief's house and said that the cliildren 
were afraid of them. Therefore the princess went down with her 
new husband to the hollow tree, and all the children were in there. 
She called them; and before they left the hollow tree, the princess 
asked them to put on their fur garments, and they all went into the 
great chief's house. The chief ordered his men and slaves to give 
them food; and after the food was served, the great cliief said to liis 
new daughter-in-law, "I will take all these girls to be, my own chil- 
dren; and if any one wants to marry any one of them when they are 
grown up, they shall come and talk to me; and if I agree, then they 
may have them." 

On the following day his son was married, and the great chief 
invited all the other chiefs to the marriage festival. 

The young eagle still loved the prmcess, and she always fed the 
young eagle. Sometunes it went over to Nass River to visit her 
grandfather. It would stay there a while and then come back agam 
to the princess. 

.Ifter a few months had passed, the young prmcess gave birth to 
a boy. A year passed, and another boy was born to her. Another 
year passed, and she gave birth to another boy. There were, in all, 
four boys and one girl, and then another girl. All her companions 
married. They also had children. 

256 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

The princess's children were skillful sea-otter hunters.. One day a 
great number of children were playing on the beach, and the prin- 
cess's youngest child was among them. She hurt one of her play- 
mates, and the child began to cry. Then the mother of the child 
which was crying asked, "Who hurt you ? " and the chUd of the mother 
said that the younger daughter of the princess had hurt her. Then the 
child's mother scolded the younger daughter of the princess, saying, 
''You have no reason to be proud, child; your father just found your 
mother on the beach. He did not intend to marry her hke a 
princess, taking her from her father's house." The princess heard 
what she said, and she began to cry. She did not tell her husband. 

The princess's boys did not speak her language; only her elder 
daughter could speak her language. 

Now the four young men were grown up, and were strong men. 
They were playing outside, and began to quarrel with the son of one 
of their father's relatives. They began to fight, but the prmcess 
stopped them with kindly words; but the mother of their cousin was 
angry, and she scolded the princess's sons, saying, "We did not go 
to your mother's father's house to let my brother marry your mother, 
and now you pretend to be very proud, you slave ! They found your 
mother on the beach." 

When the prmcess came into her father-in-law's house, she cried 
bitterly. After she hatl cried, her husband came m and questioned 
her, but she did not tell hun. She only said to him, ' ' Make a good- 
sized canoe. I wiU send all my children to my own country." There- 
fore her husband bought a large canoe ; and one day in the summer- 
time they loaded the canoe with many things — costly coppers, and 
slaves for all the boys and for one of the daughters. The father kept 
only the younger daughter. Her mother called her elder daughter, 
and said, "The young eagle will guide you to our native home." 
The princess asked her husband to make a crosspiece of wood and 
fasten it on the bow of the canoe to let the young eagle sit on it . He 
made it, and they started. The young eagle was sitting on the bow 
of the canoe, and they paddled away along the south side of Prince 
of Wales Island, and the young eagle flew ahead of them. 

Before they started, their mother had said to her daughter, "You 
shall always ask the young eagle which way to go: 'Young Eagle, 
where is your mother's native land V and it will guide you on your 
way home." 

Now they started ; and the young eagle flew ahead m front of the 
canoe. It would sit on a tree ; and when the canoe came to the place 
where it was sitting, it Hew ahead again and sat down again farther on. 
Thus they continued all the way until they arrived at Root-Basket 
Camp. They camped there. In the evening they went around the 
small island and killed many seals. After they had dressed the seals, 


tlicy went on until they passed Grizzly-Bear Point. Behold! there 
was a great sea in front of them. Then the girl asked the young 
eagle, "Where is your mother's native land, Young Eagle?" and 
the eagle led them to a camping-place. There they waited until the 
following morning. Early the following morning the eagle screeched 
to wake them up. They arose and went on. The young eagle flew 
across the great sea high up in the air, and the prmces paddled on as 
hard as they could; and when the sun rose high up in the sky, they 
saw a small blue mountain far ahead. They followed the eagle, 
which was ilying way up in the air, and before evening they saw the 
island ahead. They paddled very hartl, and late in the evening they 
arrived at Slave Island. They camped there and took a rest; and 
after they had eaten, they slept. Only a girl watched over them while 
they were asleep. They camped there for two days. The foilowmg 
day they went on again and crossed Beaver-Tail Island. 

The girl asked the eagle agam, ''Where is your mother's native 
land, Young Eagle?" and it always flew ahead; and when they 
arrived on the mainland, they camped on Hole Island. On the fol- 
lowing day they went on to Nass Eiver, and in the evening they 
camped on Gravel Bar Camp ( ? ?) . The young eagle left them there ; 
and they did not know which way they should go, because it was at 
the mouth of three rivers where they were camping — the rear river, 
middle river, and Nass River. 

The eagle had been away for t^^•o days, and the princess was still 
encamped there. The eagle had gone up to her (?) mother's uncle, 
and was sitting on top of his house, screeching. After two days the 
eagle came back; and the princess started once more, going up 
Nass River, the eagle flying ahead. Now they understood that 
they were near home, and they were very glad. Before they arrived 
at the village, t hey put on their good clothes ; and their sister looked 
shining, like a supernatural bemg, Avhen she put on her dress of white 
sea-otter skin. The four brothers wore their garments of black sea- 
otter skin, and they had red pamt on their faces and eagle down on 
their heads. They padtUed along, and the young eagle was sitting 
on the bow of the canoe. 

Before the sun set m the west, the canoe came up to a village; 
and the young people wereshoutmg outside on the street, when they 
saw the canoe coming up to them. The canoe arrived on the beach 
in front of the village, and the people saw the young eagle sitting in 
the bow. Some one asked them, "Where do you come from ? What 
people are you ?" Then the girl said, "We are the children of your 
Princess Daul, who was among the children that were carried away 
by the high tide in the hollow tree." Then all the people cried, and 
some shouted for joy. They took them up into then* grandfather's 

50li83°— :U ETH— 16 17 

258 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. 31 

The cliief was very old, and was blind on account of his old age. 
Then all the people of the village came in to see them. They were 
seated on one side of the large fire. They were like supernatural 
beings to look at. Then the old cliief asked, " Wliere is your mother ? " 
The girl repUed, "She is at home with father." — "Wlio are your 
father's people?" — "He is the only son of a great chief named 
G'it-xa'n." — "How many are you?" asked the old cliief. She 
re])Hed, "These four boys here and we two girls. My grandfather 
kept my younger sister to stay with him." Then the old man 
smiled, and said, "Come up to me, each of you, from the eldest to the 
last!" Then the eldest boy went to him. " Wliat is his name ?" and 
the girl replied, "His name is Hfiis." Then the second one came. 
He felt of him also, and asked, " Wliat is his name?" — "His name is 
Nes-awatk. " Then the third one came. "Wliat is liis name?"— 
"His name is Xagigun." Then the last one came. "Wliat is his 
name?" — "His name is Xbl-ye'lk." And he called her to come. 
"My dear," he said, "I will feel of you." She went to him, and he 
asked her, "Wliat is yourname, my dear?" — "MyiiameisWl-n!e'°x;" 
and the old chief continued, "Who gave you your names, children?" 
She replied, "My grandfather gave them to us." — "Yes, yes! he is 
my relative. Is it very far ? " She repUed, " It is not so very far. " — 
" Wlio brought you here?" She said that a young eagle had brought 
them. "And where are all your mother's companions?" — "They 
all married there. Not one of them was lost, and some of them have 
children." Then all the people were glad. 

The chief said to the eldest one, " You shall have my place, and 
try to go back to our own village at Gits!Emga'l6n and destroy those 
who kiUed your grandfathers." 

As soon as the old chief ended his speech, he feU back and died. 
Then his whole tribe mourned over him. The eldest son of Princess 
Daul succeeded to his place, and his people loved him very much. 
One day his people wanted to go and visit their cliief's children. 
Many of them went in many canoes, and one of the sons of Daul 
went with them to guide them on tlieu' way; and they reached the 
village of the Haida, who received them peacefully, and they became 
very friendly. There was no war between them, and the Nass River 
people took back some of their grandchildren. 

As soon as they arrived on Nass River, the new chief wanted to 
go and fight with the people of Gits !Emga'16n, those who had mur- 
dered his relatives on the battle-field years ago. Therefore he made 
ready, with his whole tribe. They crossed the mountains, and 
arrived at the great lake of G'its !Emgii'l6n. They saw smoke up 
there, and followed it, and soon they arrived at a great camping- 
place near the lake. The people were beaver hunting. They went 
there secretly by night. The people who were in camp there were 


the relatives of the murderers of the relatives of the young chief. 
The chief and his people staid behind the house, waiting until their ene- 
mies were asleep. They were very merry in the evening, laugliing and 
shouting for joy, and making fun of the relatives whom their grand- 
father iiad destroyed on the battle-field years ago. The young chief 
heard all they said, and heard them laughing. At midnight the war- 
riors came in one by one; and when they were all in the house, the 
chief ordered Ids men to stand each by one of the sleepers ; and when 
they were ready, the chief shouted, "Now slay the murderers!'' 
Then his men Idlled all of them, and not one of them escaped. Only 
one slave-woman with her little daughter was saved. She was a 
relative of the young chief, and she was living in a little hut beliind 
her master's house, where she was weeping. She made her escape 
early in the morning. 

Early in the morning the four princes sang their war-song, and 
the slave-woman knew her relatives' war-song. After they had sung 
twice, the slave-woman came out with her Uttle daughter, and said, 
"You are my relatives, my dears. I know your war-song." The 
young chief asked her, "Wliat is your name?" and the woman 
replied, "My name was Wl-n !e'°x. I am the younger sister of Princess 
Daul, whom my uncle Nes-wa-na'° took away from here to some other 
place; and these people took me captive, and I have been their slave 
for many years. They intended to kill me when they put up a totem- 
pole in winter." Then the four princes raised their voices and wept; 
and after they had wept, the young chief said to her, "My mother's 
name is Daul. She is stiU alive. She is married to a great chief's 
son in a Haida village. She is your sister. Slie had six cliildren — four 
boys and two girls — and we are her children." Then the poor slave- 
woman embraced each of them. 

The young chief asked her whether any of the men remained in the 
village; and she said, "Only one old chief remains, the one who de- 
stroyed all your grandfathers in battle." She asked, furthermore, 
"Is my uncle alive?" They rephed, "As soon as we came home to 
his house he died, after having spoken to us, and I succeeded to his 
place; and he charged me to take revenge on these murderers who 
destroyed his brother and his peoi)le. Therefore I have come across 
these mountains. All my companions are my people." 

After this they had a long conversation, and the young cliief said 
to his men, "Now cut off the heads of those whom you have killed!" 
They did as their young chief had told them. And he said also, " Take 
their scalps!" and they cut down the bodies on each side of the 
chest down to the belly and pulled down the skin between their legs 
as a sign that the relatives of those slain should not take revenge in 
the future. When they had done so, they put each of the bodies 
on a pole and placed them upright along the camping-ground. Then 

260 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [etii. ann-. 31 

tliey went down to the village of G'itslEmga'lon. They arrived at 
the village in the evening, and went into their enemy's house, where 
the old cliief was all alone. They saw him sitting in the rear of his 
house; and when they all had entered, the young chief said, "Now 
kill the old chief to avenge the death of my grandfather's relatives 
wliom he destroyed." Then all his men clubbed him vdth their war- 
clubs, and the young chief destroyed all his property, pulled out his 
eyes, and hung the body on the grave of his uncles who were slain in 
battle long ago, head downward, feet upward. Then he sent back 
all his warriors to Nass River, to their own home, together with Ids 
third brother. The daughter of Ids captive aunt and two of his own 
brothers staid with him. He wanted his own sister to come and 
live with them, and he continued to live in his own native home. 
Wlien Ills sister came across the mountains, he married a princess, 
one of liis neighbors' daughters; and many chiefs desired to marry 
his sister, for she was very beautiful; and one of the G'its lala'sEr 
came and wanted to marry her. The chief agreed to it, and they 
were married; and they multiplied among all the tribes of the Tsim- 
sliian; and so did her younger sister, whom her grandfather kept 
among the Haida, and also the daughter of the captive aunt, whom 
he sent over to Nass River. These three girls were the ancestors of 
the Eagle family all over the coast, among the Tsimsliian. 

40. The Stoky of Asdilda and Omen' 

A long time ago there was a village called Dzl'gwa. There lived 
a chief and his wife. They had two children, a boy and a girl. The 
boy was called Asdilda, and the girl was named Omen (Dl°ks) . 

One day the prince called his tlu-ee friends, and they went up the 
river of Dzi'gwa m their canoe to fish for trout, as they used to do 
every spring. The prince was seated in the bow of the canoe, two of 
hLs friends in the middle, and one at the stern. They went up the 
river until they arrived at their fishing-ground. Then the prince 
looked down into the clear water, and saw many trout under the 
canoe. He took his two-pronged fishing-spear. The prince wore 
his valuable hat. The hat was very expensive, and was called 
Cormorant Hat. It was covered with costly a])alone shells; and 
nobody was allowed to wear the hat except this prince, as a crest of 
his family. He speared a good many trout, and at last a large trout 
came up. He tried to spear it ; but before he succeeded, his valuable 
hat fell down, and the trout was gone. He had missed it. He put 
his hat on, and looked down agaui, and saw a large trout come along 
slowly. He took his spear, and was ready to throw it ; but before he 
could cast his spear, his valuable hat fell off, and he lost sight of the 

1 Notes, p. 832. 


trout. Then he put oii his hat again and looked dowTi. Ho saw 
another large trout coming up, and he tried to spear it; but before 
he could do so, the trout was gone, for his hat fell down again, and 
he lost sight of it. Then he became angry, took off his valuable 
hat, tore it to pieces, and threw it into the water, and it went down. 
The steersman, however, took a long pole and fished up the pieces 
of the valuable hat, ami placed them behind hunself in the stern of 
the canoe. Now the prince said, "Let us camp here!" for it was 
getting evcnmg. They camped at the foot of a large spruce tree, 
as they were in the habit of camping every spring. They built a 
fire, and were about to roast some trout for their supper. Soon the 
trout was cooked, and the friends got skunk-cabbage leaves and 
spread them on the ground. They used them as dishes to put the 
roasted trout on. Immediately a frog leaped on the cooked trout 
and remained sitting on it. 

Then the prince became angry with the frog. He took it and threw 
it uato the fire, but the frog jumped out of the big fire. He took the 
frog again and threw it once more into the fire. The poor thing tried 
to escape, but in vain, for the young man was stronger than it. At 
last the frog was killed in the fire; and one of the prince's friends 
took the burnt frog away and secretly threw it into the bushes. 

Then they had their supper. They lay down and slept; and on 
the following morning, very early, the prince said to his companions, 
"Let us go home!" They launched their canoe and started home- 
ward. When they were all aboard, they paddled along. When 
they were a little distance from the camp, behold! a young woman 
was seen commg downi to the beach behind them. She shouted, 
saying, "My dears, please take me along with you!" The woman 
had her face blackened with charcoal, for she was in mourning. 
The young man turned back to her, for the prince was much pleased 
by the beauty of the young woman. He jumped out of the canoe 
to take her, and stretched out his hands to embrace her; but the 
woman vanished, and only a frog leaped away from hun. 

He wont down to his canoe, and they paddled on. When he had 
gone some distance, they heard somebody crying behind them, 
saying, "My dears, will you take mo along with you ?" and the young 
man stopped. They looked back, and the prince saw a beautiful 
girl. He said to his companions, "Let us turn back and take her 
along!" So the canoe turned back toward her. When ihey arrived 
near the shore where she had come down to the beach, the prince 
jumped out of the canoe and walked up to the woman. He stretched 
out both his arms to embrace her, but she vanished again. Only a 
frog leaped away from him. He went down to his canoe, and they 
started again. After they had paddled some time, a woman came 
down to the beach and shouted, saying, "My dears, please take me 

262 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. amn. 31 

along with you!" Then the men stopped, looked back, and saw a 
good-looking woman coming down. The prince asked them to turn 
back and to take her aboard. So they turned back and reached the 
place where she had come down. The prmce jumped out and went 
to meet her, and the woman came down to the beach; and the prince 
stepped up to her quickly and stretched out his hands to embrace 
her, but she vanished, and just a frog leaped away from him. He 
went down to his canoe, and they paddled away; and after they 
had gone some distance, they heard some one crying behind them, 
saying, "My dears, take me along with you!" Then the prince 
answered, "No, you wiU vanish away from me." Thus said the 
prince to her. And she asked once more to be taken along, but they 
did not heed her request. They paddled away as hard as they could. 

Then the woman said to them, "My dears, listen to what I say to 
you!" They stopped and listened. "As you go along, when you 
arrive at that point yonder, your prince will fall back and die; when 
you reach the next point, one of those who sit in the middle of the 
canoe wiU die; and before you arrive at the beach of your village, 
the next man will die, too; and as soon as your steersman finishes 
telling to your people the story of what has happened to you, he 
will die." 

Thus spoke the woman to them. They paddled away from her, 
laughing, and scornmg her, "Ha, ha! you will soon die yourself!" 
They paddled along, and soon reached the point about which the 
woman had told. Then the prince fell back and died. His friends 
paddled along, weeping and sad ; and while they were paddling along 
weepmg, one of those sittmg in the middle of the canoe fell back and 
died also. Now, only two were .left who were paddhng along. 
Before they reached the shore of their village, the next one feU back 
and died, and only the steersman remained. 

When he arrived at the shore, crowds of people came dowai antl 
questioned him about what had happened to those who had died. 
The steersman did not say a word, but went up to his father's house. 
The people continued to question him as to what had happened to 
them. As soon as he came into his father's house, the crowds fol- 
lowed hun, and the house was full of the people of the whole village. 
Then the steersman began his story. 

"Yesterday, when we arrived at the fishing-ground, our prmce, 
Asdilda, speared many trout ; and before he went to camp, he looked 
down and saw a large trout coming along. Immediately he took up 
his harpoon, ready to spear the large trout, but his hat fell over his 
eyes, and the trout disappeared. His valuable hat fell several times 
just when he was ready to tlirow his spear, and the trout was gone. 
At last he became angry, took off his hat and tore it to pieces, and 


he threw it into the water; and when I saw the hat sink slowly, I 
took my pole and fished it up, and put it behind me in the canoe, at 
the stern. 

"In the evening we camped at the foot of a large spruce tree, and 
built a large fire, ready to cook our supper. We roasted some of the 
trout, and soon they were done. Then we went for skunk-cabbage 
leaves, and we spread them on the ground to serve as dishes. Then 
we put the roasted trout on them. As soon as we sat around there, 
a frog leaped on the fish ; and our prince, Asdilda, became very angry 
at the frog, took it, and cast it into the fire. The frog leaped out of 
the fire, but the prince took it again and threw it in. The frog tried 
to escape from liim, but could not do so. Again the frog tried to 
leap out of the fire, but the prince took a long pole and pressed it into 
the fire. The frog tried to escape, but could not do so. He pressed 
hard, until the poor tiling died and was burned." 

The steersman continued, "Then I took the body secretly and 
threw it into the bushes. Our fire was almost out, and we lay down 
in our camp to sleep until the following morning. Then we had our 
breakfast; and after we had eaten, our ju-ince said that we should go 
back home. 

"We started for home; and when we were paddHng along from our 
camp, we heard some one shout behind us." Thus said the steersman 
while the people crowded about him in his own house. . 

"Then," said the steersman, "we beheld a young woman, who 
stood on the beach of our camp, with her face blackened with char- 
coal as a sign of mourning; and she said, 'My dears, will you take me 
along in the canoe?' Our prince said, 'Let us turn back and take her 
vnth us ! ' So we turned back to her ; and when we reached the shore, 
our prince jumped out of the canoe, went to her, and stretched out 
his arms to embrace her, for he was pleased with her. She had a 
lovely countenance, and was beautifid to look upon. Therefore the 
prince put forth his arms to embrace her; but she vanished from our 
sight, and the prince saw only a frog that leaped away from him. 
Tliis happened to us three times. 

"Then we paddled away from our camp, not heeding her words. 
She cried out repeatedly after us; and at last slie said, 'My dears, 
just stop for a while, until I have told you sometlung.' Then we 
stopped paddling, and she said, 'Just Usten to what I say. Wlien 
you reach the point yonder, your prince wiU fall back and die; and 
when you reach the other point, one of those seated in the middle of 
the canoe will die; and the next one will also die before you arrive 
at home; and your steersman will die as soon as he has finished 
telling lus story to the people.'" 

Thus said the steersman, and fell back and died. 



I ETH. AXN. 30 

Then all the people of the village moved away. They took the 
bodies of the dead and buried them. On the foUowdng morning an 
old woman who lived at the end of the town went to the house of the 
chief, of the father of the prince who had died. The old woman said, 
" Send for all the people of the vUlage." The chief obeyed, and invited 
all liis people in ; and when all the people were in the house, the old 
woman said, "My dear people, I had a dream last night;" and all the 
peojjle were very anxious to know what the old woman had dreamed. 
So the people questioned her, and asked what her dream had been. 
She said, "I had a very bad dream;" and she said to the cliief who 
had lost his son, "Dig out the earth in the middle of your house. 
Dig a deep hole, and put your only daughter into it." Therefore 
the chief ordered Ids peojjle to dig out the ground; and after they 
had dug a deep hole, they put costly coppers into it first, painted 
garments, and much property. They put the costly coppers on eacli 
side of the pit, and also garments of sea-otter skins, of marten skins, 
and woven blankets, and many elk skins. Then the girl went into 
the hole, and they covered it over with blankets, and filled it in over 
the blankets. As soon as the old woman knew that the ])rincess 
Omen had been covered with earth, she said, "I saw in my dream 
that fu'e fell from heaven and consumed this village. I saw a fire 
fall on top of that mountain yonder." Aiid as she pointed to the 
top of the same mountain, behold ! a little firebrand fell down on top 
of the mountain, and it began to stream down quickly like water 
from the top of the mountain. The fire went around the village, 
and the water in front of the vUlage burned like oil. The people of 
the village could not escape from it. They were all burned up. Only 
the princess, who was hidden in the hole, was saved; and the old 
woman also hid herself in the ground . 

The princess Omen heard the noise of the fire passing over her 
while she was sitting in the pit; and when the noise had ceased, she 
heard the voice of a very old woman coming down crjang ; and Omen 
heard the mourning-song of the old woman, and Omen knew that the 
old woman was weeping on the ground above her; and this is the 
mourning^ong of the old woman: 




Am - ea- gait - dkl 



na - 2a - 




eeps dEp an-qa dEp an - qa 
I gatlier tlie bonea of my dear ones, my dear ones. 




The girl heard it wliile she was in the pit. After a little while, she 
heard another voice coming along. So she pushed away the cover, 
and, behold ! she saw a chief tainess holding a cane in her hand. There 
was a Uve frog at the lower end of the cane, and a Uve person on top 
of the live frog, and a Uve eagle was at the upper end of the cane; and 
the cldeftainess was wearing her large hat made of spruce roots 
painted green. She walked slowly along, talking with the aged 
woman. She said to the old woman, "Don't you know that Asdilda 
cast my only child into the fu'e ? Therefore I burned up this village." 
She sang — 




Y6a ho ySa ha 
Dzila'°eans ya. 

yea ho ySa ha 
Dzila.'°g:an3 ya, 

ayea a yea-ha 
ayea a yea-ha 

ye ho yea (three times) 
ve a ve 

And she went along all alone, crying while she was M^alking. 

After she had repeated her song three times, she put her child's 
name into the mourning-song, in the last line of her song. Her name 
was Dzila'°gans. This was the name of the frog that had been 
thrown into the fire by the prince while he was on his way to fish trout. 

Wliile the cldeftainess was going away, the girl Omen came out 
from her luding-place. She had learned well the mourning-song of 
that cldeftainess who had just gone. As soon as she was out of her 
pit, she looked around, and with deep sorrow she saw that nobody 
was saved, that the whole village was burned. 

She went along, not knowing which way to go; but before she 
went, she put on her garments of sea-otter and of marten skins and 
the chief's woven dancing-blankets; and she put in order the costly 
coppers and the elk skins, which she left in her hiding-])lace. Then 
she went off full of sorrow, and singing her own mourning-song. It 
is as follows: 

\i^ J. 



-m — r^»— - 


— f^ 
—^ — 



1 ^ P 




— •-; 

Na dEm maige eint gima'dil ^n-wa'lda; a yi yi 
Na dEm maige eint guna'dit gau-wa'lda; a yi yi. 

Nil wil ga-xbESEm-laxla'x} gui-liauta giina'dil gau-wa'lda; a }-i yi. 
Gau-lu-gaxl \n-gal-ts!abEm Dzi'g\va; a yi yi. 

Gau-lu-gaxl na-gal-ts!a'pgE8 guna'da; a yi yi. 
Gan-hi-gaxl wi-gal-ts!a'bEm Dzi'gwa; a yi yi. 

Nil wil ksi-latkl giis-likla'k"; a yi yi. 
Gan-lu-gaxl vri-gal-tsIa'bEm Dzi'gwa; a yi yi. 

266 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. anx. 31 

1. ^Vl^en wont to spear fisli my dear lord, alas! 
^Vllell went to spear fish my dear lord, alas! 

2. Then fell the cormorant hat of my dear lord, alas! 
And 80 the town Dzi'gwa was destroyed, alas! 

3. So the town Dzi'gwa of my dear lord was destroyed, alas! 
So the great town Dzi'gwa was destroyed, alas! 

4. Then the shining garment appeared, alas! 

So the great town Dzi'gwa was destroyed, alas! ' 

She went on and on until she came to a hirge lake; and while she 
was walking around the lake, she beheld a beautiful garment spread 
for her on the ground, glittering like the stars of heaven. The gar- 
ment was full of the foam (?) of living persons; and she put this glit- 
tering garment into the mourning-song. 

She went along, weeping, past the garment; and while she was 
still gomg on along the lake, she suddenly heard a great noise coming 
forth from the water of the lake. It sounded like the rolling of 
thunder. She looked up, and saw a supernatural halibut coming 
up out of the water in the shape of a house with carved front, and 
she put it into her mourning-song. She passed by, going her way, 
struggling along until she felt weary and faint, because she was 
starving, and her voice was almost lost on account of her weakness. 

After some time Omen came down on the other side of the lake, and 
she saw a fire burning under the root of a spruce tree. She went 
toward it, feeling very weak. Her garments were almost gone on 
account of her long journey. She sat down by the fire, with her 
back toward it. 

On this fire the body of a dead princess of a town near by had been 
burned. The only daughter of a chief and his chieftainess had died 
and had been burned there. And while the wandermg princess was 
sitting by the funeral pyre warming herself, a canoe came along with 
four people in it. "\Yhen they saw the princess sitting by the fire, 
they passed on toward the village on the other side, and they took 
the news to the people of the vUlage, saying that they had seen a 
young princess sitting by the funeral pyre; and all the people were 
glad, and said that the princess had come back to life. Therefore 
the chief and his wife went over to see what had happened there. 
They arrived at the beach, and, behold ! a princess was sitting down 
by the fire. They came ashore as quickly as they could, and the chief 
and his wife went up to the fire. Then the whole company, and also 
the chieftainess, embraced the girl; and the chieftainess asked her, 
"What is your name?" The girl said that her name was Omen, 
and so on; and this had been the name of the chieftainess 's only 

' Mr. Tate has given tune and words apart, and I can not fit tKe words to the music. — F. B. 


daughter who had just been burned on the funeral pyre where the 
wandering prmcess was sitting. 

Then the chief and his wife and his people took her home, full of 
gladness, and gave a great feast to the people, because his daughter 
who had been dead a little while previously had come back to life. 
So the princess lived with her new parents; and after she had been 
there for some time, her new parents loved her very much, and her 
father wanted to marry her to one of his nephews. 

The following summer, when the strawberries were ripe, all the 
young women started to pick strawberries on a certain island a little 
distance away from their village. All the young women left the 
canoe and went to pick berries on one of these islands. The young 
princess was left alone in the canoe; and when the whole party began 
to pick strawberries, the princess, who was alone in the canoe, started 
to go out to the next island. While she was on her way, a south- 
westerly gale began to blow, and drove her away. The strong wind 
drove her canoe away from her new home; and so she arrived in 
the middle of the great sea, in an entirely unknown part of the world. 
Then she sang her mourning-song which she had been singing while 
she wandered away alone, after the fire had consumed her own father's 
village. Then she looked, and, behold ! a large object like a great 
eagle came forth from the water, with ten Uttle eagles on the head of 
the large one. She drifted on until she landed a little distance outside 
of our old town of Metlakahtla. She reached the shore of the G'id- 
wul-g'a'dz tribe, and their chief took her into his house and mar- 
ried her. 

She bore him three sons and two daughters, and she was happy in 
her new home. The chief who had married her had five wives besides 
her, so he had six wives altogether. And one day the older wives of 
the chief quarreled with the princess because the chief loved her most ; 
and the elder wives said to the young princess, "The chief ought not 
to have married you, for you were driven away by the southwest 
wind while you were picking strawberries, you Haida slave!" Thus 
said the elder wives of the chief to Omen. 

Her children grew up. The eldest son used to go out hunting, and 
they became rich in the foreign land. The boys gave a great potlatch 
to all the Tsimshian tribes, and took their names. The eldest son 
took the name Asdilda, and the second one took the name Younans, 
the third one Gamqagun; and the first girl was named Lu-xsm&ks, 
and the second one Alulal and Sagabin. Then they had another 
great feast, and Asdilda made a cormorant headdress covered with 
abalone shells, like that of the former Asdilda, which he wore when 
he was out fishmg for trout at Dzi'gwa; and he made a cane like that 
of the Frog Woman, with the frog at one end, and the live person on 

268 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

the frog, and a live eagle at the upper end; and he made a glittering 
garment, like the one which his mother saw by the side of a lake, and 
a supernatural halibut, and the eagle that hLs mother had seen m mid- 
ocean while she was being driven away by the southwest wind. Then 
they gave their mother a new chief's name, Picking Strawberries and 
Great Haida Woman. She got these names on account of her quarrel 
with the elder wives of the chief a little while ago. Therefore these 
people have these names and crests, and they have their mother's 
mournmg-song which she sang while escapmg from the burnt village. 

Many years after this the mother called her children together and 
told them what had happened to her. She said, "These are not 
your people. Our people lived on the other side of this land, way 
out at sea." She told them the story about her brother Asdilda — 
what had happened to him when he was out fishing trout, and how 
the Frog had burned their village, and how she alone was saved 
when her father dug a pit and put her into it with much valuable 
property and six costly coppers, and so on, and how she came to the 
other village among her relatives who had the same crest, and how 
she was driven away by the southwest wind, and so on, until she 
had married the children's father. Thus spoke the princess to her 

As soon as she ended her story, one of the boys said, "Let us go 
and visit our native land and our relatives there!" Then the eldest 
one said, "Let our younger brother and our younger sister go to 
visit them!" So they made themselves ready and went. Their 
father the chief bought a new good-sized canoe, large enough to 
withstand the sea and the wind, and the mother went down with 
them to the beach. She pointed out the direction with her finger, 
saying, "You must keep ahead between Dundas Island and Stephens 
Island; and when you get out to sea, keep ahead in the direction 
where the sun sets, and the stern toward sunrise ; and when you get 
to the islands, turn your canoe to the southwest. Then you will find 
your grandfather's village." Thus she said to her two children. The 
children started out, and six slaves went along with them. They 
went on and on until they passed between the two islands, Dundas 
and Stevens, and went out to sea, as their mother had told them. 
Then they turned their canoe to the southwest; and after some 
time, when the mainland sank out of sight, they saw land ahead of 
them, and they were glad. On the following morning they landed 
on the other shore and camped for a while. They went on, turning 
their canoe southward, as their mother had told them, and they went 
along the shore of the island; and when they passed the first point, 
they saw a village in front of them, and before evening they arrived 
in front of the village. 




The young prince said to tliem, "My dears, have you lost a princess 
who was on her way to pick strawberries many years ago?" Then 
the people of the village called them ashore and took them into the 
house of the new chief; and they told the story how their mother 
was driven away by the southwest wind while on her way to pick 
strawberries; and some oi the people who knew their mother were 
glad to hear the good news about the princess who was lost many 
years ago. Then the people told them how theu- mother had a good 
home among the Tsimshian tribe, and how the elder brothers had 
given great feasts, and that their father was a chief of one of the 
Tsimshian tribes; and at the end of their speech, their grandfather's 
nephew invited in all the chiefs, and told them that the old man's 
grandcliildxen had come safely, and they were all happy. The boy 
went on the following day to visit the old home of his mother, trying 
to find the costly coppers and the property that was hidden, as his 
mother had told him. He arrived at the old desolate village-site of 
Dzi'gwa, and he. found all the things as his mother had told him. 
He found all the costly coppers and the other property, and that is 
the end. These are Omen's mourning-songs, which she sang when she 
went along her way, after she had left the village that had been 
destroyed by fire: 






1. Na dEm maige sint gima'dil ^an-walda; a yl yi 
Na dEm maige sint guna'dil gau-walda; a yi yi. 

2. Nil wil ga-xbESEm-laxla'xl gul-hauts guna'diJ gan-wa'Ida; a yi yi. 
Gan-Iu-gaxi wi-gal-ts!abBm Dzi'gwa; a yi yi. 

3. Gan-lu-gaxl ua-|al-ts!a'pgEsguna'da; a yi yi. 
Gan-lu-gaxl wi-gal-ts!a'bEin Dzi'gwa; a yi yi. 

4. Nil wil ksi-latkl gus-likla'k"; a yi yi. 
Gan-lu-gaxl wi-gal-ts!a'bEm Dzi'gwa; a yi yi. 

1. When went to spear fish my dear lord, alas! 
Wlien went to spear fish my dear lord, alas! 

2. Then fell the cormorant hat of my dear lord, alas! 
And so the town Dzi'gwa was destroyed, alas! 

3. So the town Dzi'gwa of my dear lord was destroyed, alasl 
So the great town Dzi'gwa was destroyed, alas! 

4. Then the shining garment appeared, alas! 

So the great town Dzi'gwa was destroyed, alas! ' 

I See footnote on p. 266. 



[ ETH. ANN. 31 






Am- sa- gait- dal 







seps dEp an- qa dEp an- qa 

I gather the bones of my dear ones, my dear ones. 


Yea ho yea ha yea ho yea ha ayea a yea-ha 

ye ho yea 







Yea ho yea ha yea ho yea ha ayea a yea-ha 

ye ho yea 


^H TJ"^^ 



P P • O g> ' 




Yea ho yea ha yea ho yea ha aySa a yea-ha 

ye ho yea 



o . 



^T^f-' - I I . .J.I B 


-6> ^ 

Dzila'°gaii8 ya, Dzila'°gans ya, ayea a yea-ha ye a ye 


There was a great war between the Eagle Clan and the Ganha'da, 
who lived in villages, one on each side of the river. A prince of the 
Ganha'da was married to a princess of the Eagle Clan. One day 
the young man was jealous of his wife. He took his knife and cut 
her, and the young woman ran over a bridge to her uncle's house. 
As soon as she got across, she fell down dead; but before she died she 
told her brothers that her husband had cut her with his big knife. 
She died, and her relatives did not weep over her. They just hid 
the body. Her younger brother looked just like her. He took her 
clothes, put them on, and pretended to be the young woman. He 
looked just like his sister. One day he was walking about outside. 
Then the young man from the village of the Ganha'da saw his 
wife walking about on the other side. Therefore one evening he 
went across, trying to take her back. As soon as he met his wife, 
he entreated the young man who pretended to be a woman to go 
back with liim. The j^oung man replied, "I am not angry with you; 
you were jealous: So if you want to come in wath me tonight, 
come, but I don't want you to do me any harm again;" and the 
young man of the Ganha'da promised that he would not do her 

1 Notes, p. 834. 



any harm. Late in the night they went into the house; and as 
soon as the young man was sound asleep, the man who pretended to 
be the woman took his knife and cut liis brother-in-law's throat. 
Then he threw the body out of the house. 

Now the two villages began to fight, and had a great battle. Some- 
times the Eagles were victorious, sometimes tlie Ganha'da. At last 
the Ganha'da vanquished the Eagle Clan, and therefore the latter 
fled. Tliis happened on Copper Eiver in Alaska. The people of 
the Eagle Clan took to their canoes, and escaped southward. They 
took \vith them tlieir costly coppers and many elk skins, marten 
garments, and other kinds of property, and they left in more than 
ten canoes. After traveling three days, they came to a nice bay. 
Tliey tied their costly coppers together to make an anclior. On the 
following day, when they pulled up tlie anchor, their line broke, and 
they lost ten coppers. They went on southward for many days. 
Wlien they came to the mouth of the river, they took one of their 
expensive crests, a stone carved like an eagle, put cedar bark around 
it, and cast it out to ser\-e as an anchor, and all the canoes gatliered 
there. On the following morning they pulled up tlieir carved eagle; 
but before they could take it into their canoe, the line broke. Then 
they would mourn over their loss. Again they started, and went 
on southward until they arrived at an inlet, up which they went. 
There they camped. They were glad to have escaped from their 
enemies, but their liearts were heavy because they had lost their 
carved eagle and their coppers. In the great battle they had lost 
their princes, and they had to leave a part of their property in the 
houses. They were going to make this inlet their new home. On the 
following day three of their young people went out in a canoe across 
the inlet; and when they reached the foot of a steep cliff, behold! 
a large halibut came up, opened its mouth, and swallowed the canoe 
with the three persons — two princesses and one prince. The people 
on the other side saw it. Therefore two of their brave men went to 
kill the monster who had devoured their prince and their princesses. 
They crossed the inlet in their canoe, having their large knives tied 
to the right wrist. As soon as they reached the foot of the steep 
rock, a halibut came up, opened its mouth, and swallowed the canoe 
with the two brave men; but as soon as the halibut had swallowed 
them, they cut it inside with their knives. They cut up its intestines 
until it died. Then the supernatural halibut felt the pains in its 
stomach, jumped out of the water, and struck the water with its 
tail. It swam around the inlet, and finally ran ashore and died 
there. Then those who had remained alive went down to the beach, 
and saw that the great supernatural halibut was dead. They cut it 
open, and saw the two canoes and five persons. Then they sang 
their mourning-song. 

272 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Before they left their camp, one of their princes went up into the 
woods to refresh himseK, for he was in deep sorrow. He went on 
and on tmtil he came to a plain. There he found a Large lake. He 
stood on the shore of the lake, weeping, on account of his brothers 
who were swallowed by the supernatural halibut; and while he was 
weeping there, he heard a noise. He looked up, and, behold! there 
was a large beaver on the waiter, with copper eyes, copper ears, 
copper teeth, and copper claw's. It struck the water with its tail, 
making a noise like thunder. Then the yoimg man went back to 
the camp, and told his people that he had seen a large beaver in the 
lake above their camp. On the following morning they went to 
hunt the large beaver. Soon they came to the lake, but they saw 
nothing. Everyttung was quiet. While they were still standing 
there, they heard the sound of a drum, followed by a mourning-song; 
and after a while they saw the large beaver come out of the water, 
with copper eyes, copper claws, copper ears, copper teeth. They 
agreed to kill it, for they needed the copper. Therefore they tried 
hard to break the dam in the large lake. After many days they 
succeeded. Before the lake was dry, the beaver came out. The 
men killed it and skinned it, taking off the copper claws, the ears, 
eyes, and teeth.' As soon as they had killed it, they W'ent down and 
took the beaver to be their crest, and therefore the Eagle Clan use 
it now. No other clan can use this large beaver. When the head 
chief IjEg"e'°x makes a great potlatch, he wears it on his head, and 
four head men take hold of the headdress, and one of each clan, so 
that the people may know that he alone is the head chief of all the 
Tsimshian. They always kept the beaver hat in their family. 

42. The Watek Being Who Married the Princess^ 

(There are a great many stories of human beings who made wonder- 
ful marriages, telUng how a prince or princess was taken away from 
the old town of Metlakahtla, where, after the great Flood, all the 
villages of all the tribes took their beginning.) 

A great chief lived there, who had a very beautiful niece, a young 
princess, whose name was SagapgiS,. This princess was very much 
beloved by the young women of her uncle's tribe. One day in 
summer, when the salmonberries were ripe on Skeena and Ksdal 
Rivers, many young women of one tribe, of a Raven town, took a 
large canoe. The canoe was fuU of young women, and the princess 
SagapgiS, was among them. She was sittmg in the center of the 
large canoe. They have to pass a slough (?) near the mouth of 
Skeena River, and there is a great sandbar which they saw in front 

1 In a letter, Mr. Tate says that the beaver's mouming-song contains only one word — ■' beaver-in-h'5- 
: Notes, p. S34. 


of the canoe off the mouth of Sandy Bay Creek. They went with 
the tide, and therefore the canoe was very swift; and when it was 
near the bar, they saw a mass of foam over the sandbar; and while 
the young women went across the foam, they paddled very hard; 
and when they had passed by, they found that they had lost the 
prmcess out of the canoe. The canoe was full of foam where she 
had been sitting. Then they cried for her sake. They made a 
camp at Autumn Camp, which is now named Port Essington. There 
they waited for the tide to turn, and when the tide was out, went 
home and told all that had happened to them. 

Then the wise men said that the supernatural bemg of Sandy Bay 
had taken her. Therefore the great chief, her uncle, called all the 
shamans from all the villages and paid them. The shamans said that 
the son of the great supernatural being of Sandy Bay had married 
the girl. Therefore the uncle of the princess sacrificed for her sake 
grease, crabapples, cranberries, dried berries, elk skins, costly coppers, 
garments of sea-otter skin, marten garments, abalone shells, canoes, 
and slaves. He made a great sacrifice. The young princess saw 
all these things, which came into the house of the cliief of Sandy Bay, 
where she was sitting at the bottom of the sea. 

As soon as she entered the house of the supernatural being, Mouse 
Woman came to her side, and said to her, "Throw your woolen ear- 
ornament into the fire!" and when she had done so, the Mouse 
Woman took the burnt wool out of the fire, and asked the princess, 
"Do you know who has brought you here?" She said, "No." — "This 
is the house of a great chief of the supernatural beings. His son 
wants to marry you." Thus said the Mouse Woman, and went away. 

When the sacrifices of her uncle came into the house of the sujier- 
natural being at the bottom of the sea, the young man loved her very 
much, for she was very beautiful. She staid there many years. 
She had a son, whom her father-m-law called Down The Useless River 
(Wa-mEdi-a'ks). When the boy was born, the grandfather took his 
forehead and jjulled it, and he also pulled his legs and his hands and 
his body, and the mfant was called by its grandfather Y!aga-gunu'ks 
Down The Useless River ( Y ! aga-watkda wa-mEdi-a'ks). 

One day the supernatural cliief was sitting by the side of his large 
fire with liis back against the fire, his face toward the Useless-River 
a little above liis house. He said to the Useless-River, "Send down 
to my daughter-in-law a baby girl!" On the following morning the 
prmcess had conceived; and when the time came, she gave birth to a 
baby girl. The chief made it grow quickly, as he had done with the 
elder child; and when the children had grown up to be a young man 
and young woman, the old clfief mvited all the supernatural beings 
of the rocks; and when aU the supernatural bemgs came into the 
house, the great chief's people served food to his guests. After 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 18 

274 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

they had eaten, the supernatural chief said to them, "My dear chiefs 
of the supernatural bemgs of all parts of the world, I wdll speak a few 
words to you. Let all my grandchildren's people live! Don't do 
them much harm, because many of them have been drowned in the 
river by you. Therefore I have invited all of you to my house." 
Then all the monsters rephed, "Yes, we will do what you have said." 
North Wind said, "I will not blow so often;" and South Wmd said, 
"Neither will I;" and West Wind and East Wind said the same ; and 
all the supernatural beings said the same. 

(Before the old supernatural cluef had invited all the monsters to 
his house, many canoes were capsized on Skeena River and along the 
coast, for the supernatural beings in the water wanted to eat the dried 
berries which they carried in their canoes. Therefore many canoes 
were capsized by them.) 

After they had all said that they would not do any more harm to 
the people, they all went out, each to his own home. 

Now many days had passed, and the great chief said to his son, 
"Now, my dear son, let my grandcliildren and their mother go back 
to their. own home!" Therefore on the foUowmg day they started 
homeward; and when they arrived at the Raven town, they were 
all happy, and the tribe of the young princess's uncle was full of 
joy because she was still alive. 

He invited all the Tsimshian tribes, chiefs, and other people to 
show them his two grandcliildren, and he gave out their names. 

Then the young man and his sister did all they could to obtain 
animals of the woods and of the water. The young man was very 
rich, and he would give great feasts to his uncles' people. In course 
of time his uncle died, and he gave a great feast to all the Tsimshian 
cliiefs and to their people, and he took the name wliich his super- 
natural grandfather on the sandbar had given to him while he 
was with him in the town of the supernatural beings in Sandy Bay. 
He had called him Down The Useless River. 

Soon after he had given a feast to all the Tsimshian, he said to his 
mother, "Now I shall invite all the supernatural beings wlaich were 
my supernatural grandfather's guests when we were in his house!" 
and his mother said, "Do so, my dear son! Your supernatural 
father and your supernatural grandfather wiU help you." Then the 
young chief sent word to a man of the tribe of G4t-la'n of the Tsim- 
shian, who know how to make carved wooden dishes; and ho sent 
word to the G^i-spa-x-la'^ts to make carved wooden spoons ; and he 
sent word to the G"inax'ang'I'°k to make carved wooden boxes; 
and he gave order to the G'id-wul-g"a'dz to make deep wooden 
dishes with carving; and he gave order to the G"it-dzi'''s to make 
carved horn sjjoons ; and he gave order to the G"inadii'°xs to dry much 
mountain-goat meat and tallow; and he gave order to theG"i-lu-dza'r 

i:masi tsimshian myths 275 

to pick cranberries and crabapples; and ho gave order to the Gid- 
wul-ksE-ba'° to make many hundred score of dried cakes of hemlock 
sap; and he gave order to the G'its lala'sEr to dry many bundles of 
berries; and he gave order to the tribe of G'its!Emga'16n to dry 
many hundreds of salmon, and to the women to make mats of the 
bark of the red cedar. 

Tliis was two years before he gave the great feast to all the monsters 
or sujiernatural beings in the water. At the end of two years all 
the Tsimshian tribes brought the tilings they had made. The G'i- 
spa-x-la.'°ts brought ten boxes of carved spoons, the G'it-^la'n brought 
ten boxes of carved wooden cUshes, the G'inax'ang-I'°k brought many 
carved boxes, the G'id-wnd-g'a'dz brought ten large boxes filled with 
deep carved wooden dishes, and the G"it-dzi'°s brought ten boxes 
of carved horn spoons, and the G'inada'°xs brought many boxes 
filled wdth dried meat and tallow, and the G"i-lu-dza'r brought many 
boxes of cranberries and many boxes of crabapples mixed with 
grease, and the G'id-wul-ksE-ba'" brought many hundreds of bundles 
of dried cakes of hemlock saji, and the G'its!ala'sEr brought many 
hundreds of bundles of dried blueberries and many boxes of cran- 
berries mixed with grease, and soapberries, and the G'its lEmga'lon 
brought many hundred bundles of dried spring salmon and many 
hundred bundles of silver salmon. 

He sent word to the tribe of the G'it-qxa'la to shred bark of the 
red cedar and to bring eagle down and tobacco, and he sent word to 
the G'it-q!a'°da to make blankets of yellow-cedar bark and to bring 
burnt clamshells. Now, the tribe of G'it-qxa'la brought many boxes 
filled with shredded red-cedar bark, ready to make into headdresses 
and necklaces; and the G'it-q!a'°da brought many boxes filled with 
yeUow-cedar-bark blankets and cloaks ready to wear, and burnt 
clamshells; the G^it-qxa'la also brought many boxes of tobacco. 
His own tribe, the G'idzExla'"!, took down theu- canoes and loaded 
them with aU these goods. Many canoes were filled with the goods 
made by all the Tsimshian tribes. AU these tribes used the same 

Now this young chief moved from the old town of Metlakahtla up 
to Nass River; and when he arrived there, he built two large houses 
just above the rock of Algusauxs. He built also another house for 
his mother. Then he sent out Ms young men and his sister with 
them in a canoe as messengers to invite all the su])ernatural beings 
of the rocks and from the water fi-om aU over the world. The canoe 
was away for ten days, and then came home. The days passed on, 
and not one of the guests had come to his feast. 

Then he and his sister went to their supernatural grandfather to 
ask him why all the supernatural beings had not come. The siq>er- 
natural chief replied that they had not come, because one of the 


supernatural cliiefs had not been invited by the messenger. Tliere- 
fore all the other chiefs had not come. Thus said the supernatural 
chief to his grandson. He led his grandcliildren to the place of the 
supernatural cliief who had been missed by the first messengers. 
Then the two young people went back to Nass River, where they 
had come fi'om. 

On the following morning they saw a great dark bar at Crabapple- 
Tree Point, below theu" camp. The prince said to his people, "Go, 
and flee into the woods, and don't come down when floods of water 
swamp our houses and when floods of foam come! Wlien the flood 
comes a second time, then you wiU know that they have left." Then 
aU his people went into the woods on the hiUs behind the houses. 

Now aU the monsters came up Nass River; and storms of wind 
were blowing that day, and floods of water came, and floods of foam 
covered the houses of tlio young chief and of his mother and sister. 
Only these three remained in the camp. The fire of the great young 
cliief who had invited the supernatural beings could not be extin- 
guished by the flood. The people who were in hiding behind the 
camp on the hill lieard the voices of the young chief and his mother 
in the" houses below, in the flood of water and foam that covered the 
houses. Tlien the wind and rain storm ceased, and the floods 
decreased, and the houses appeared out of the waters. 

Then the young chief said to those that were high in the woods, 
"Let all the young men come down and help me serve food to these 
chiefs!" Therefore all the young men came down to their master; 
and when all the young men came into the chief's house, they saw 
strange forms sitting around. Two of them were very ugly. The 
names of the ughest two were Spagait-an-a'tk and K-knaaze. The 
name of another one was Kuwa'k. He was very good to look at. 
He always smiled when looking around. He was bald-headed. 
Another one was caUed K-lgu-a'l. His hat and his blanket were fuU 
of arrows. Another chief was called Lax-an-batsa'xl. He wore a 
hat made of twisted cedar branches. Another chief was called 
Long Hands (Wut!E-an'6'n); another one, Drift Log Enemy (Wil-n- 
lEba'1-g'al-soks); another one, Short Nose (Lgu-dzak). Others were 
named K-spE-ha'walk, K-nE-dEp-wa'n,K-wil-g"ig'a'mk, K-wll-dza'n, 
Txam-a'x, Nlaks and his grandfather, K-ts!Em-a'us, K-wI-ts!u- 
wanxl, G'adEm nagai, Wa-niEdi-a'ks, K-sana'il, K-sbaxl, K-gwilax- 
la'k, (Wll-g-ig-a'mk), Wll-g-amk-ga-a'ks, K-n-ts!aho'mt, K-sbalil, 

All the supernatural beings wore their crests on their heads and 
on their garments. Therefore when all the young men came into 
the house, they saw the wonderful things that the guests of the 
young princess had. The young chief took his new name, Down 
The Useless River (Y ! aga-watkda wa-niEdi-a'ks), and his sister took 



the name Killer Whales Are Ready To Go Up (Wi-alas-latk-gul-nexl- 
al-yo). After the two liacl proclaimed their names, the young man 
helped the chief serve the dried salmon and the other food. They 
put it into the carved dishes, which they placed before the guests. 

After a while the young cliief said, "Throw all the carved wooden 
dishes into the fire ! ' ' The young men did so ; and when all the dishes 
that were filled with roasted dried salmon were burned, the chief said 
to his attendants, "Take the deep carved wooden dishes and put the 
dried berries into them!" They did as they had been told; and 
after they had eaten the dried berries and salmon, the fat of mountain 
goat was thrown into the fire. Alter they had eaten the berries 
mixed with crabapples and cranberries, they filled the carved square 
boxes and threw tliem mto the fire with the carved wooden spoons; 
and when the monsters had eaten dried blueberries mixed with 
crabapples, they looked at one another ^\^th smiling faces. Then 
the chief said to his attendants, "Now grind the roasted hemlock 
bark!" They did so, and mixed it with hot water and grease and 
•with, cranberries, and placed them in carved boxes. They put one 
spoon in each box — a nice carved mountain-goat-horn spoon. They 
threw these also into the fire: the carved boxes, wooden dishes, 
and spoons which all the Tsimshian tribes had made for two years 
before the feast. They cast everytlung mto the fire with the food. 

After the food had been served, the chief piled up many elk skins, 
marten garments, raccoon garments, weasel garments, and others, 
and goat fat, tobacco, ocher, and costly coppers. He gave them 
away to all these supernatural chiefs. Then he said to all his guests, 
"I want these two chiefs to take their i)lace way back of Canoe Pass, 
because these two chiefs are so hard for human beings to pass." 
Then all the monsters consented to what Down The Useless River 
said. That is the reason why these two chiefs, Spagait-an-a'tk and 
K-knaaze, left their places. 

On the following day the young chief said to his attendants, "My 
dear young men, now go and flee again up the hills!" So they went 
into the woods up the lulls and mountains. Then the wuad blew 
harder and harder. The flood came, and the houses were covered 
with foam and water, and it was storming the whole night. On the 
following mornmg the wind ceased, for Chief K-gazoun poured his 
seal oil on the water, and it was quite calm; and when all the monsters 
were gone, the chief's people came down to their camp ; and they saw 
that the cliief's house was carved with the great starfish covered 
with costly abalone shells, and the other house was carved with a 
large bullhead with five children on its back, with beautiful green 
abalone shells in the eyes and fhis. These two carved houses were 
given to the chiefs by the monsters. Then all the people of the 
chief's tribe loved their master very much, and the chief and his sister 
also loved their people. 

278 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. axx. 31 

43. The Story of Part Summer' 

In olden times there was a very happy people in the village of 
G"its lEmga'lon. They lived in a very pretty town of three rows up 
the G"its!Emga'16n River. I called it the Threc-Row Land, for the 
village was built in three rows. They built their houses on top of 
the hill, the second row under the first, and the third row under the 
second one. The town was on the bank of a river, a very good 
river, and the village was not far from a very large lake. They went 
there very often in the summer for picking berries of aU kinds, which 
were growing along the sides of the lake, which was their himting- 
groimd. Sometimes the peojjle would Uve there m sununer for dry- 
ing berries for winter use, and in winter the hmiters would live 
there. Therefore they built their little huts on the shore of the large 
lake. Many families had several huts for use in the proper season. 

There was a great chief m this village who had five children — 
four boys and one girl — whom he loved very much. In those days 
the people of each tribe were m the habit of going for one or two days 
to catch salmon to be given to the chief, who was to use them in the 
winter; and in the winter the people would often go to the chief's 
house, and the chieftainess would feed them. So the people caught 
salmon for their chief, and the women worked for their chieftainess. 
They would go some days and pick berries for her. The chief and his 
wife did not work for themselves. The people worked for them. The 
chief also had many slaves, male and .female, and he had many 
wives — many chiefs had as many as twenty, some ten, and others 
four — and these slaves and wives would work for the people, but 
the head wife did not work like the others. 

The four sons of the chief were very expert hunters, and the 
youngest one had two beautiful hunting-dogs. They were very 
useful dogs. One was called Red, the other Spots; and the girl 
liked the dogs very much. Her name was Part Summer. She was 
very dear to her brothers, for she was the only girl among them. 

One day the women of the village started out picking berries for 
the chieftainess, and the young princess wanted to go with them. 
So they started from their camp on the shore of the large lake ; and 
when they came to the berrying-ground, they soon filled their bags 
with berries. The bag of the princess was not quite full yet, when 
she slipped, stepping on the dung of a black bear. She became 
angry, and said, "Oh, this big dung stuck on my foot! How nasty 
it is ! " Thus said the prhicess. All her companions gathered aroimd 
her and filled her basket with berries. Iler basket was not as large 
as those of the others. Then they started for their camp; and as 
they went along, the carrying-strap of the prmcess's basket tore, 
and all her berries were scattered on the ground. Her companions 

' Notes, pp. 747, 834. 


came and filled her basket again. They went on some distance, 
and again her carr>ang-strap tore. Then some of the women went 
away home. The berries were scattered on the gromid and were 
mLxed with dirt, but a few companions staid with her and gathered 
the berries. They went on, but again her carryhig-strap broke; 
and her companions said to her, "Let the bags go! We have plenty 
of bags full of berries for you. You do not need those for yourself. 
Let us go on instead of gathering those berries, before night comes, 
lest the wild beasts devour us and we perish." 

The princess, however, answered, "No, I will not leave my berries. 
Go right on if you want to. " When all the young women had left 
her in the woods, and she was alone there picking up her berries, 
behold! two young men came to her, and asked her, "What is the 
matter?" She told them that her carrying-strap tore several times. 
They asked her what had become of her companions, and she replied, 
"They would not wait any longer. " Then these two men asked her 
to let them carry her basket, and she consented. They took the 
basket of berries, and went on until they arrived at a vUlage that 
was unknown to her. 

She was standing outside a large house. Then the father of the young 
men asked them, "Did she not come on with you, my sons?" They 
replied, "She is standing outside." — "Bring her in!" So two girls 
went out to get her, and took her into the house, and she was made to 
sit on one side of the fire. 

As soon as she was seated, a Mouse Woman came to her side, and 
asked her, "Don't you know who has brought you here?" The 
princess rephed, "Xo." — "The Black Bear brought you here, for 
you were angry when you slipped on the bear dung while you were 
picking berries. Therefore they brought you here. Now take good 
care. They will give you something to ejit, but do not eat the first 
salmon that they offer you. It is the stomach of a human body. " 

Now the Bear people took good dried salmon and roasted it, put it 
into a dish, and placed it before the princess, but she did not eat of it. 
They took it back and ate it themselves. Then they took real salmon 
and roasted it. This the Mouse Woman had said was real salmon, 
so she ate of it. 

The Mouse Woman had told her also that they would offer berries 
mixed with crabapples, and that she was to refuse this. She said, 
"Don't taste of it! That is decomposed flesh of a body, and the 
crabapples are the eyes of the dead person; but the second dish of 
berries mixed with crabapples will be good. " So she ate of this, and 
continued to do so. 

She became the wife of one of the sons of the Black-Bear chief. 
She staid there a long time, until the fall. Every morning the male 
Bears went for salmon, which they caught in the brooks, and the 
female Beai-s went into the woods to pick berries, and in the evening 


they would all come home. Some of the male Bears would not come 
home with the rest, and some one said, "My companion's fishing-line 
is broken. " Then a very old Bear would say, "Oh, perhaps he used 
the common bushes, and therefore it was broken. Cranberry bushes 
are the best for making fishing-lines. " After he had been away for 
two or three days, he would come back home downcast. This was 
because some peraon had killed a Black Bear near a brook. 

Some female Black Bear would do the same. When the rest came 
home in the evening, some one would say, "My companion's 
carrjdng-strap tore;" and after she had been away several days in 
the woods, she came home slowly. 

Now, it was late in the fall before the animals went into their 
dens. Then the Black Bear chief invited his whole tribe in; and 
when all the people were in the house, he asked each family of his 
people, and said, "In what den will you lie down this winter?" 
Then one male Bear would answer, ' ' We shall lie down in the den of 
So-and-So, " and he mentioned the place where the den was. And 
after he had asked every family for their dens, then he turned to his 
eldest son, who was married to Part Summer. The Bear chief said, 
"Now I will ask you, my daughter-in-law, and my elder son shall 
answer me, 'In what den are you going to lie down this winter?' " 
Then his son replied, "We shall Ue down in the den of Mountain 
Beautiful." Then the princess said, "Oh, it is very easy for my 
younger brother's dogs. Red and Spots!" Therefore her husband 
asked, "What do you say to the den of Mountain Side?" — "Oh, it 
is easy for the dogs Red and Spots!" He mentioned all the dens he 
knew in every place; and the woman always said that it was easy for 
her younger brother's dogs. Red and Spots. 

Therefore the chief said again to his daughter-in-law, "Do you 
want the difficult den Both Sides Rock Shde or Both Sides Drum ? " 
This the princess accepted. She said, ' ' That is the den that I wanted. 
It is difficult to get at. " 

Her father-in-law questioned her, and said, "How many brothers 
have you, daughter?" She repUed quickly, "I have four brothers." 
The chief asked, "Are they hunters?" The princess rephed, "Yes, 
they are. All of them are very expert hunters; therefore I do not 
Uke to choose an easy den to lie in this winter with my husband, lest 
they should kill us easily." 

The chief said, "Now I will ask you just one more question. How 
many mats has your eldest brother?" The princess rephed, "My 
eldest brother's mats are sixty. " Then sixty Black Bears hung 
their heads, and the tears ran down their noses. "Sixty mats" meant 
that her eldest brother had lain sixty times twenty days by himself, 
using one cedar-bark mat, and that he had taken a bath every second 
day, that is, ten baths in each twenty days; and after each two 


daj's' bath he had taken away the mat and put it aside, and had 
taken a new mat for the other twenty days.' 

So Chief Black Bear asked the young ]irincess how many mats her 
eldest brother had; and these sixty Black Bears hung their heads, for 
they knew that they would soon be slain by the eldest brother of the 
princess. Therefore they hung their heads and cried. 

The Black Bear chief asked her further, "How many mats has 
your second brother?'" — "My second brother has forty mats." 
Then the forty Black Bears hung their heads, and the tears ran down 
their noses. Again the chief asked, "How many mats has your third 
brother?" The princess rephed, "ily third brother has twenty 
mats." Then twenty Bears hung their heads, and the water ran 
down their noses. 

Again the chief asked, "How many mats has your youngest 
brother, princess?" — "My youngest brother has five mats." Then 
five Black Bears hung their heads, and water ran down their noses; 
and the princess's husband also hung his head, and the tears ran 
down hi.s nose. 

After the chief had questioned them, he said to all his people, 
"Tomorrow you shall go all over the country and gather wild carrots 
for your own use in your dens for the winter. " Then the old Bear 
said, ' ' We shall he down under old fallen trees ; " and the chief said to 
his people, "As soon as you hear the thunder rolhng, then each shall 
go to his own den, lest danger come upon you. " 

On the following morning all the Bear people went out; and soon 
the thunder was heard rolhng, and each Bear family went to its 
own den. 

Now the eldest brother was prepared to go hunting. He had been 
away for a month in the mountains, and had succeeded in kilhng 
sixty black bears. He went home, and the second brother was 
ready to go hunting. He staid in the mountains for a month, and 
then went home, having killed forty black bears. When the third 
brother was ready to go, he left home, and staid in the mountains a 
month, and then went home, having Idlled twenty black bears. Then 
he came home. 

Now the youngest brother was ready, and went with his two dogs, 
Red and Spots. He went on and on, and did not find anything. 
He went farther on. Many days had passed and he had not killed 
anything. So he stood at the foot of a mountain, crying, and thinking 
of his sister that was lost the preceding summer. 

While he was crying, his two dogs raised their noses and went up 
a mountain with a rock-slide on each side. Soon they came up to a 

* They used this custom -when they wanted to have success in hunting. Original: Ada laxst a 
gu'plElda sa'°t a Icple'lda la.\st a mEla-klE'rElda sa°t hi-ga'odi klErElda laxst. Dat gik I!i-ga' nakst ligi 
ami dzE wa-na'kst dat g41igi-lEp-wila's hana'°gat ana'gat, adat da'mgEt; dit hi-sa-l]a'g5'°p!Elda sa'°t 
laxst gani sil-naTcgA hana'gat;datlisa-ga-sgant at ma'gat. Ada am tsel-ma'gat. Adat gik ga° su-sgant 
a gik klE'FElda gidis sa°. 

282 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann-. 31 

place where a few trees were. The young man heard the dogs 
barking up there. Then he stopped crying, and looked up to the 
place where his two dogs were barkmg. Then he saw them run 
about barking and wagging their tails. Therefore the young man 
tried to climb the mountam. He put on his snowshoes, which 
hunters use when they climb mountains, put the points of mountain- 
goat horns under his snowshoes, four horn-points on each side. Thus 
the young man was trying to reach the place where his dogs were 
barking, and he was using his own staff. 

(Hunters' staffs are seven or eight feet long, and have a horn at one 
end. They use these when they walk over sliding snow, so that they 
will not slip.) 

He climbed; and it was very hard to go on quickly, for the snow 
was slippery. 

The dogs were still barking, but the young man could not go on 
any farther. He was always slidmg back, for the snow was very 
soft. Alas! he stood there not halfway from the foot of the slippery 
snow, his face directed to the place where his dogs were barking. 
He was thinking that he could not get up there. Then he wanted to 
turn back. 

At this tune his sister looked down at him. She stretched out 
her hand, took some snow, pressed it, and it rolled down. The 
young man saw the small ball of rolled snow coming down. It struck 
the front end of his snowshoe. The young man took it up and looked 
at it. Behold! there were the impressions of four fingers of some 
person in the snow. Then he tried again to climb up, and finally he 
reached his two dogs, who were still barking. They had their ears 
down and were wagging tlieir tails. 

He came to the opening of a den; and when the dogs came to the 
place where the young man was, the princess recognized her brother's 
dogs, Red and Spots, and the princess called them by their names Red 
and Spots; and therefore the dogs wagged their tails, and their ears 
drooped, for they knew her also. Still the dogs saw the Black Bear 
seated with her, and therefore they barked. Now the man came up, 
and he also saw his sister m the Bear's den. Then the princess called 
him in, and she said, "Wait, brother, until I give birth." She gave 
birth to two children, and handed them to her brother, who was 
standing outside the den. So he took them and put them inside his 
hunter's garment. Then the princess came out of her den, and said 
to her brother, "Now, my dear, do not kill your brother-in-law with 
knife, spear, or arrow. Just make a smudge in front of the den." 

Then the young man said to his sister, "I will kill him;" but the 
princess said, "No, not so, my brother! Kill hun, only do not use 
your spear if you kill him, that you may not die." Therefore the 
young man made a fire at the mouth of his brother-in-law's den, and 


the den was full of smoke. Soon they heard his brother-in-law groan 
in the den, and then they heard the groans cease. Now he put out 
the smudge, for he knew that the Bear was dead. 

The young man went in and drew hmi out; and while the body 
was lying at the mouth of the den, the princess sang a song. After 
she had sung, she said to her brother, "Now, my dear, cut him up!" 
The young man just put his knife at the Bear's chest, and she sang 
again the Bear's mournuig-song. 

Before the young man had reached the place where the den was, 
the Bear had taught the princess to sing this song as soon as ho 
should die, and to sing it again when he was bemg cut up; and when 
they dried his skin, and when they roasted liLs heart, another song 
was to be sung; and when the skin had been dried, they put red 
ocher over it from the head to the tail, and they also put red ocher 
across it under the arms. 

The Bear had also said to his wife, the princess, "They shall put 
my skin by the side of a fire to dry it; and when you hear a creakuig 
noise, you shall know that I feel chilly and shall add fuel to the fire." 
Thus the Bear had told her. 

Now, after the young man had cut up the bear, he rolled it down 
the mountain, and slid down the snow as did his sister and the two 
cubs. They went right home. The young man was very glad to 
have succeeded m rescuuig his beloved sister. 

Wlien they arrived at their home, the people of the three-row town 
assembled to see the princess and her two cubs, and the people who 
saw her commg home shouted for joy and gladness. Her father 
gave a great feast and named his grandchildren. 

The childi'en soon grew up. They were both boys. Every 
morning they played outside and in the houses; and when they saw 
little clouds arising in the hills, they would say, "There is the smoke 
of our Bear grandfather!" and then the hunters would go and kill 

Many tunes they saw the smoke. One day they played in their 
grandfather's house, runnmg about and knocking each other down; 
and they ran around behmd the people who were sitting around the 
fire; and her grandfather loved them very much. Another day they 
would get up again m their bed and run about in the house, knocking 
each other over. When they were playing together, one of them fell 
against their grandmother's back, and the old woman fell back and 
fainted; and all the people in the house jumped up and worked over 
the old woman to revive her. She came back to life, but she felt 
distressed, and groaned, and said, "Oh, these little slaves have hurt 
me! We don't even know where they come from." 

284 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. a.nx. 31 

Then the children were much ashamed at what then- grandmother 
had said to them. They wept bitterly, and the mother also was 
ashamed and wept. The children went to their mother and asked 
her to leave the village, saying that they wanted to go to see their 
father's people. Their mother said to them, "Don't come back any 
more, but stay with your father among the Bear people, and bring 
food to me from time to time, and give anunals to your younger 
uncle." So they went on their way, sorrowful. Theu" mother 
was very sad, and their grandfather missed them much. That is 
the end 

44. Explanation of the Abalone Bow' 

In olden times there was a great chief of the Raven Clan called 
Ayagansk. lie was a very rich man among his people, and he was 
a great warrior. lie had gained victory in many battles, and he 
was an excellent hunter. 

One day he called his three companions and asked them to go 
with him to hunt seals. On the following day they went out in their 
canoe. They passed around the large island on which the village 
was situated. The weather was very bad. They had a good-sized 
canoe, and went on until they came to the foot of a steep cliff. As 
soon as they came there, the water all of a sudden began to move 
up and down. Then a live abalone bow appeared on the water, 
carved with the figure of a raven, and inlaid with costly abalone 
shells. Then the hero stretched out his hands and took hold of it 
at one end. They paddled away. The brave man held on to the 
bow, and the tliree men paddled away as hard as they could. Then 
the live bow died, but the green abalone shells were still as beautiful 
as before. Ayagansk gave a great feast to all the tribes, and he 
gave away the red wood of the bow, and he proclaimed that no other 
clan should use the abalone bow as their crest; and so all his relatives 
after this generation kept the abalone bow, and no other clan have 
it except the Raven Clan. It is a chief's crest, and they had a song 
of tliis bow. The chief of the Raven Clan used it when he was raised 
to a high position and he took a new name. Not all members of the 
Raven Clan used tliis bow. Only one chief m each generation used 
it at a time. When they take it, they give away many costly coppers, 
canoes, slaves, and all kinds of goods, and then they give out the 
story where they obtained it first, and thus all the clans understand 
it. Some of these abalone bows were kept through four or five gen- 
erations; and they changed them only when the wood was rotten, 
but the abalone shells were kept. 

1 Notes, p. 835. 

boas] tsimshian myths 285 

45. Story of Gunaxnesemga'd ' 
(Printed in Boas 13, pp. 147-192.) 

46. Story of the Ganha'da^ 

Once upon a time a man went out hunting in his canoe, but for 
three days he did not catcli anything. On the fourth day he saw 
swimmmg on the sea a large raven, whicli was flapping its wings and 
diving and emerging again. Under tlie wings he saw many people. 
When he came back home, he built a house and painted on its front 
the sea raven (Tstem-a'ks'). 

47. G"it-na-gun-a'ks* 

A long time ago a hunter and his family Uved in liis own town. 
This was soon after the Deluge. The people were all scattered over 
the world. So it was vnth this family. They made their home on 
an island outside of China Hat. 

Once upon a time they set out to hunt sea otters, sea lions, and 
seal. They left their new town. There were not many people at 
this time, but only a few. The name of tliis chief was Draggmg 
Along Shore (Dzagam-sa'gtsk). They went on many days, but they 
caught nothing. They were still looking for animals, but they were 
tired, for they had not caught anything. Therefore the head men 
m the canoe said, "Let us turn back to go home!" and they all 
decided to go back. As they were going along the channel, evening 
came; and when they came to the foot of a steep mountain, the 
steersman said, "Let us cast anchor here for the night, and stay 
until tomorrow morning!" They all consented, and the steersman 
cast liis anchor-stone. Then they all went to sleep in the canoe. 
There were four men in the canoe. The head man slept in the bow, 
his two companions in the middle, and the steersman slept in the 
stern. They were all fast asleep. 

When they were fast asleep, about midnight, thd hunter in the 
bow of the canoe was awakened by a noise which he heard around 
his canoe. Therefore he looked mto the water, and saw a beautiful 
blue cod ^ swimming around the canoe. Therefore the man, Chief 
Dragging Along Shore, was angry with the codfish, because he could 
not sleep well at night. He took her up and broke up her little fuis. 
Then he threw her away, and said, ' ' You disturbed my sleep tonight ! ' ' 
Then he went to sleep again. He wrapped lais blanket over his head, 
and soon was fast asleep. 

When the steersman had cast anchor, the anchor-stone had 
dropped on the roof of the house of a supernatural chief wliich 
stood at the foot of the steep cliff m the water at the bottom of the 

■ Notes, pp. 747, 835. * Notes, p. 846. 

2 Translated from Boas 1, p. 293.— Notes, p. 846. * A female slave of Na-gun-a'ks. 

3 This is a personification of the snag. 

286 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth.ann. 31 

sea. Its name was G'it-na-gun-a'ks. Therefore the chief, Xa-gun- 
a'ks, sent his slave to see what was the cause of the noise on his roof; 
and therefore liis codfish slave went around the canoe, and the 
chief hunter broke her fins. 

The poor slave-girl came back to her master's house weeping, and 
the cliief asked her what was the matter. The poor slave rephed 
that human beings had cast their anchor and dropped it on the roof 
of the house, and also that the chief had broken off both her fins. 
She wept bitterly. 

Then the cliief said to his people, "Take the canoe do\^^l into my 
house." Therefore they took the canoe down to the chief's house 
at the bottom of the sea while the men were fast asleep in their canoe. 

While these four men were still sound asleej), the steersman felt 
a drop of water falling into his eye ; so he opened his eyes, and saw 
that a sea anemone had fallen on them. Then he sat up, and saw 
that they were inside of a large house. Their canoe was on the 
highest platform in the rear of the house. Then he saw people sit- 
ting around the large fire in the bottom of the house. Then the 
steersman shook the canoe, and said in a whisper, "Alas! we are in 
danger." All his companions awoke, and they all began to cry. 
They saw a great chief sitting in the rear of the house in front of 
his fire. 

After a while the chief said to his attendants, "Let my guests come 
do\^^^ to the fire!" So they brought them down; and as soon as 
they were seated by the side of the large fire, the Mouse Woman came 
and touched the chief hunter. She said, "My dear, throw your ear- 
ornaments into the fire! " Therefore Dragging Along Shore threw his 
woolen ear-ornaments into the fire. Then the Mouse Woman took 
the scorched woolen ear-ornaments, and said, "Don't you know in 
whose house you are?" He replied, "No, I do not know." Then 
she said, "This is the house of Chief Na-gun-a'ks. You cast your 
anchor-stone on the roof of his house last night. Therefore he sent 
his female slave, because he wished to know what caused the noise 
up there, and you have broken her fins. She was crying when she 
came m. Then he sent his attendants and took you douoi into his 
house. I advise you to offer him what you have in your canoe, lest 
you be in danger." Thus spoke the Mouse Woman, and went away. 

Chief Na-gun-a'ks said to his attendants, "BoU some seals, that I 
may feed my guests!" Therefore his attendants took four large 
boxes and four large seals. They put red-hot stones into the four 
boxes; and when the water began to boil, they put a seal into each 
box; .and when the seals were done. Chief Na-gun-a'ks said, "Take 
one seal to each of the men!" They did so. 

Again the wise Mouse Woman came, and said, "Don't be afraid 
when they bring you a whole seal! Just open your mouth wide, and 



you shall swallow it. It will not hurt you. Tell your companions 
what I have said." Those three men belonged to the crest of the 
Killer Wliale, while the steersman belonged to the Eagle crest. Then 
each man took up a pole. They took up a seal and brought it to the 
guests. One of the men who held the boiled seal at the end of his pole 
stepped in front of Dragging Along Shore, who opened his mouth; 
and the man who held the seal took it by the tail; and the chief swal- 
lowed the whole seal, beginnmg at the head. The second man stood 
in front of the next one, who opened his mouth and swallowed the 
whole seal. Finally the last man who had a seal in liis hands at the 
end of the pole stood in front of the steersman, and said, "Open your 
mouth!" So the steersman opened his mouth and tried to' swallow 
it; but the whole seal would not go down his throat, because he 
belonged to the Eagles. 

(The other three men belonged to the Iviller- Whale crest, therefore 
they could swallow the whole seal; but the steersman belonged to 
the Eagles.) 

Now, Chief Na-gun-a'ks said to his servants, "Cut that seal to 
pieces, so that he may eat it easily." Then they did so. 

The men had been there a whole year. Then the other super- 
natural being who lived on the other side of the sea would often say, 
"Let your guests come out!" Cliief Na-gun-a'ks loved these human 
beings who had come to his house. So one day Chief Na-gun-a'ks 
said to liis attendants and to his servants, "I will give a great feast 
to all my fellow-chiefs in the rocks. I will invite them, and will 
show them my human guests. After that I will send these my 
friends to their own home." His attendants consented, and there- 
fore he sent messengers all over the world to invite his fellow-chiefs, 
the supernatural beuigs of the rocks. 

The men did not know how long they had been there, and they 
never felt hungry. Before the monsters came into their host's house, 
Chief Na-gun-a'ks said, "Get into your canoe, and you shall see what 
will come to pass!" Before they went aboard their canoe, Chief 
Draggmg Along Shore said to his host, "Shall I give you a present ?" 
His master said, "Do so!" and he presented him with four coppers 
and the fat of mountain goat, and tobacco, with a box of grease 
and a box of crabapples and a box of cranberries, also with 
red ocher and eagle down. Na-gun-a'ks was very glad to have all 
these presents. His house was full of the things which Dragging 
Along Shore had presented to him. Cliief Na-gun-a'ks sent them 
into their canoe after they had put away all the presents. 

Then the chief commanded that the door of his house be opened; 
and when it opened, the water rushed in. The house was full of 
water, and the canoe was floatmg on the first platform of the chief's 
house. Then the waters subsided until the tops of the various kinds 

288 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

of supernatural chiefs of the rocks were seen. Many different kinds 
of monsters were left dry on the floor of Chief Xa-gim-a'ks's house. 
The chief showed his guests all these monsters who had assembled 
from all parts of the country. Some of them looked nice, others 
curious, still others ugly, and others terrible. Chief Na-gun-a'ks 
himself wore Ms own garments in the form of the body of a Idller 
whale, but the body was set all over with horns. 

Then Chief Na-gun-a'ks said to his guests, "My dear supernatural 
bemgs, I am glad that you have all come to my feast. Aly brother, 
Dragging Along Shore, and his two nephews, and his brother-in-law, 
Holdamia, came to my house several days ago. They brought me 
costly coppers and all kinds of provisions. I have kej)t them here 
for a whole year, and now I will send them to their old home as soon 
as possible. Therefore I have called you all. I wish to let you 
have what they gave me." And after he had handed his gifts to all 
the monsters, he said again, "I will give him my own garment 
covered with horns, and my principal crest, the mermaid children 
going up the river, and my copper canoe, the copper stern-board, and 
copper paddles, and also my carved house." 

Then all the monsters were much pleased on account of the gifts 
wliich they received from Na-gun-a'ks. He said also, ' ' I would advise 
you, supernatural chiefs in the rocks, let not one of you, my dear 
chiefs, frighten my brother here, because he pleased us by givmg us 
his provisions and costly coppers; and when you see him hunting, 
I wish that all of you may help him, so that he may have good luck." 
All the monsters of the rocks agreed to what Cliief Na-gun-a'ks said. 

On the following day the door of Chief Na-gun-a'ks's house opened, 
and the water ran in rapidly, running through the open door. Again 
the canoe of Dragging Along Shore was floating above the first plat- 
form of the chief's house. After a while the water subsided, and a 
carved room appeared on each side of the inside of the house. One 
side room was carved with two killer whales, with their noses joined 
together. It was called Dash Against Each Other. The room on 
the other side was carved with green seaweed, and there was a copper 
canoe with coppers and a stern-board of copper and a copper bailer. 

Then Na-gun-a'ks blessed Dragging Along Shore, and said, "You 
shaU receive everything you need in the future in your land ; but do 
not hurt any fish, or anything that you may see in the water, lest 
you be in danger. When you go hunting, ofi^er burnt-offerings. 
Then you shall have good luck. Come to this place over my house 
and offer me something, that I may help you right along. You 
shall go home tomorrow." 

He also said to the steersman, "I will let you have my own hat," 
and he gave him a large sea-apjole shell with a living person m the 


center with a face like that of a man, and a good-sized box inlaid 
with abalone shells. 

After he had given liis presents to these men, he said, "Now go 
aboard the canoe and sleep there tonight." They did as he had said. 
The men had always slept in the canoe ever since they had been in 
the house. Early the next mornmg the steersman awoke from his 
sleep, and, behold ! there was a mountam of foam around the canoe. 
Therefore he called his companions, and said, "Alas! we are in 
danger." They all awoke, and the mountain of foam became less. 
However, the men did not know how. The foam was changuig into 
a thick fog, so thick that the men could not see one another m the 
canoe. Then their hearts failed. The steersman, however, encouraged 
his companions, who were silent from fear; and while they were still 
silent, they heard a noise like the rolUng of thunder. The thick fog 
vanished, and there was bright sunshhie. They looked at one 
another, and they saw that the hat of the cliief in the bow of the 
canoe was full of all kinds of seaweed, sea anemones, and sea kale ( ?) 
of all kinds, and the hats of the other men in the canoe were just like 
his; and the canoe itself was full of seaweeds, sea anemones, and 
sea kales. Then the man at the bow said, "Take up your paddles 
and paddle away!" They saw that they were at the foot of the 
high cliff where they had dropped their anchor a year before. So 
they took their paddles and paddled away; but their paddles also 
were full of seaweeds, and were very heavy because they were made 
of copper. 

Dragging Along Shore said to his men, "Don't pull the seaweeds 
off from the canoe, from the paddles, and from our clothes!" Now 
they paddled on ; and whenever the handles of their paddles touched 
the canoe, it sounded like a bell. The canoe went as fast as a bird 
flies, and at midnight they reached their own home. 

Early in the morning one of Dragging Along Shore's elder sisters 
would come out and go to the east side of the village, waihng for her 
brother who had been lost the precechng winter. As soon as she 
came out this tune, behold! there w'as a large monster floating on the 
sea in front of the village. She saw something that seemed ahve on 
top of it, and it made a noise like a bell, boom! 

She ran in and called her husband, and said, "Alas! we are in dan- 
ger." Her husband arose and went out. He also saw the curious 
monster on the water. He inquired, and said, "Who is there?" 
Then they answered, "Was not a chief lost from here last winter?" 
They said, "Yes." Then the men in the canoe replied, "We are 
coming home again safe." 

Then the whole village was in excitement. AU the people in the 
village went down to the beach to welcome those who had been lost 
a long while. Some of the people were afraid when they saw that 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 19 

290 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

their clothes were full of seaweeds, sea anemones, and sea kales, and 
that all kinds of shells were sticking to the canoe, to the paddles, 
the stern-board, and the bailer, that their root hats were covered 
with shells and seaweeds, and that everything- in the canoe was that 

Soon they came ashore. Then the young people wanted to take 
up the canoe; but they could not, because the canoe was made of 
copper and was very heavy; and two young men carried up their 
paddies, which were also made of copper; and when they had carried 
up everything, the four men themselves carried up the copper canoe; 
two men at each end. 

Now Dragging Along Shore sent messengers to his tribe to invito 
all his people. When they were all in, he told the story of what had 
happened to them on their way — how they had been in the house of a 
chief at the bottom of the sea, and how his host had invited all his 
fellow-creatures when he had given him his presents, and also how 
his host had given him his own crest. He showed his people a killer- 
whale hat covered with horns, and the garment of green seaweeds, 
and the two rooms with carved sides, also the copper canoe and 
paddles ; and he told how Chief Na-gun-a'ks had given his brother-in- 
law a real sea-apple hat and a carved box-cover set with all lands of 
shells, and how they had fed them with one seal each as soon as they 
had been taken down. 

After he had told his story, he asked his people if he should give 
a great feast and invite all the tribes around them. His people 
agreed, and he sent messengers around to invite the chiefs. 

On the appointed day all the chiefs came to his feast, and a crowd 
of canoes covered the water in front of his house. Then the head 
man of the village came out and called them ashore: and when all 
the guests were ashore, they called them in ; and when all the chiefs 
were in the house. Dragging Along Shore asked every chief to wear 
his own. crest, hat, and decorated garment. Therefore all the in- 
vited chiefs wore their own crests. 

When they had put on their own crests, Holdamia opened his 
carved box, the cover of which was inlaid with all lands of shells, 
and thick fog filled Dragging Along Shore's house. Then the chiefs 
from all the tribes were silent. They were afraid to speak. Soon after 
the thick fog had come out, Holdamia closed his carved box, the fog 
disappeared, and the chiefs looked around the inside of the house. 
They saw that it was now full of seaweeds, sea anemones, and sea 
kales, which were hanging all around the house, and the copper canoe 
was on the first platform of the house; and there was a carved room 
on one side, ■wdth a design of the two killer whales joined together 
by their noses, and named Dashing Against Each Other; and on the 
other side of the fire a room appeared carved with green seaweeds. 


Dragging Along Shore wore his Idllcr-whale garmout covered with 
many horns, and the guests were also covered with seaweeds. 

Therefore Dragging Along Shore proclaimed that his family name 
would be G"if^na-gun-a'ks, and this name was to continue from him 
from generation to generation. 

Hokhimia also gave a great feast to all the chiefs around, and he 
showed them what he had received from Chief Xa-gun-a'ks. He held 
in his hand a copper paddle, and wore his sea-apple hat with a Hving 
person in the center. The abalone box was fdled %\'ith thick fog. He 
also amiounced Na-gun-a'ks as one of the Eagle Clan. 

Now Dragging Along Shore prospered, for he was successful wher- 
ever he went hunting, and he could get many animals. His fame 
spread all over the world, and he was known to all the peojile round 
about his village, and he gave a great many feasts to the chiefs. He 
gave a feast almost every year, for he was a very successful hunter 
because he had the blessing of Chief Na^gun-a'ks. 

Once upon a time he went out again, as usual, to hunt, and three 
other men were with him in his canoe. They did not know his 
taboos, although Chief Dragging Along Shore told them that they 
must not touch any fish. He obtained all the animals he wanted. 
He found almost all the animals already dead, and on the way home 
dead animals or fish would float on the water in front of the canoe. 
They took them into the canoe. When evening came, they went 
ashore to seek a place in which to camp. They made their camp 
there, and took the animals and fish out of the canoe. 

When the young men who were with the chief carried up the goods 
from the canoe, they saw a large bullhead aground. They ran there 
together, and one of the young men took the bullhead and clubbed it ; 
but the other said, "Leave the bullhead alone, we have plenty of 
good fish!" But the young man who took itfirstsaid, "No, I want to 
have it, for our chief said that we should take everything that we meet 
on the way." The two others, however, compelled him to leave it. 
They took it from Mm, and laughed at the bullhead. They cut open 
both sides of its mouth to enlarge it. The other man, however, was 
sorry, and went to tell his master what the two other men were 
doing. Then the chief was angry, and said, "Oh, you two! You 
have brought us into danger! " He told the young man to go up the 
hill and look down to the sea before they rounded the next pomt. 

Then they took their canoe down, put aboard a few things, and 
padcUed away from their camp to round the point; and the young 
man was sitting on top of a hill, looking down. His eyes were follow- 
ing the canoe. As soon as they went around the point, the young 
man who was sitting on top of the hill saw how a great whirlpool 
opened and how it swallowed the canoe. 


Then the young man left. In less than half a day he reached 
"home, and told his people what had become of their master, and how 
he and the two others perished in the whirlpool. 

Dragging Along Shore now lived in the house of Chief Na-gun-a'ks; 
and the two other men who had laughed at the bullhead perished in 
the bottom of the great whirlpool, because they had disobeyed the 
commands that Chief Na-gun-a'ks had given Dragging Along Shore 
before he sent him home, when he commanded him not to hurt any 
kind of fish. 

48. The Foxm Chiefs and Chief Grizzly Bear' 

A long time ago, before the Deluge, while the people were living 
on the upper course of Skeena River, there were four brothers, all 
chiefs. Each of them had a house. They lived in the old village 
Prairie Town, and their people were very proud of their four good 
chiefs, who treated them well. 

One hard winter, when all the food was used up, each of the four 
brothers made a fire in his house every morning to show the people 
that they were still alive, but others were starving to death. Many 
people were dying of starvation, and every day they made a fire to 
show that they had plenty to eat. 

One day toward evening a thin person came down the river on the 
ice, and the eldest one of the chiefs sent out his attendants to call 
him into his house. The man came in, and they spread mats by the 
side of the great fire, and the thin man seated himself there. Then 
the eldest chief, who had invited him in, inquired, "How long is it 
since you left your home?" The man replied, "It is many days 
suice I left my home." — "Wliat have you been eating all the while 
along the way?" The thin man replied, "I have eaten only snow 
all along the way. " Then the chief said, " Bring in snow in a wooden 
dish!" and his attendants filled the dish and put it before him. The 
man did not eat the snow, but arose and went out. 

Another evenmg the thin man came round to the village again, 
and they told the second chief that he was coming, so he sent out his 
attendants to invite him in. They spread mats by the side of the 
fire, and the second chief asked him, " How long is it since you left 
home?" The thin man replied, "I left home many days ago." 
The chief said, "What have you been eatmg all along the way?" — 
" I ate only snow. " Then the second chief ordered his attendants to 
bring in some snow in a wooden dish. They did so, and brought in a 
large wooden dish full of wet snow, and put it before him, and gave 
him a spoon; but the man did not eat. He arose and went out. 

Another day toward evening, while the young people were playing 
games, the lean man came down again from the woods. They told 

■Notes, p. 847. 



the thii-d chief that the thin man was coming down from the woods. 
Then the third chief sent out his attendants to invite him in, and the 
thin man came in. They spread the mats before him. He sat down 
on the mats, and the chief asked him, " Is your village very far away ?" 
The thin man said, "Yes, it is very far away. I left there many days 
ago." — "And what have you been eating all the way down?" He 
said, "I ate nothing but snow." The third chief sent his attendants 
to bring in some snow. They did so in a large wooden dish, which 
they placed before him. The thin man did not eat, but arose and 
went out. 

The people were still dying of starvation. Another day toward 
evening the thin man came down from the woods. They told the 
youngest of the four chiefs, and he sent his servant and one of his 
own nephews to invite him in; and when the man came in, they 
spread mats by the side of the fire, and the man sat down. As soon 
as he was seated on the mats, the fourth chief said, "I have heard 
what my three brothers have done to yon, my dear, and I am very 
much ashamed of what they have done. They have no pity. They 
did not show a kind heart to a stranger who comes and visits their 
houses. They are bad people." Thus said the young chief. 

He said to his wife, "See if a dried salmon remains in your box!" 
Then his wife arose, went to the empty sahnon-box, and there was 
only one large spring salmon left in the box. She took it to the 
fire and roasted one half. She put aside the other half. And after 
she had roasted it, she put it in a dish and gave it to the thin man. 
After he had eaten the dried salmon, the chief's nephew soaked dried 
berries in water and mixed them with fresh red berries. They gave 
these to the thin man, and many kinds of provisions besides. After 
they had eaten, when it was nearly midnight, the chief said to the 
thin man, "When do you intend to go back home?" The man said, 
"I will go back home tonight. " Then the chief said to his wife, " My 
dear, give the other half of the dried salmon to this chief, that he may 
eat it on his way home ! " So she gave him the other half of the dried 
salmon, of which he had eaten one part a little while ago. He went 
back the same night. 

Before he left he said to the chief and his wife and his nephew, 
" I am much pleased because you have showii me kindness, and you 
have given to me your last provisions in this hard season of starvation. 
You have taken pity on me. I have been to the houses of all your 
elder brothers, but they all made fun of me, and gave me nothing but 
snow. Therefore I will reward your kindness to me, and by tomorrow 
I will give you a costly crest. Early tomorrow morning, when you 
hear a noise yonder, take your canoe and go with your nephew and 
your wife. Let your three brothers come afterward. Then I will 
give you my present. " As soon as he had said so he left. 

294 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY 1 etii. axx. 31 

The chief and his wife did not sleep that night; and before day- 
break the young chief heard something like a song on the other side 
of the river. He arose, called his nephew and his wife, and said, 
"Let us beofi!" So they crossed the river; and when they arrived 
on the other side, at the foot of a rock-slide, they heard a shouting 
above. Behold! a man was coming down wearing four crests, a 
grizzly-bear hat, red leggings, and a bow in his hand. Another young 
man was coming down wearing a mountain-goat hat, and a woman 
with two large dishes — one carved with live frogs, and the other one 
with a mountain spring. Then they sang a mournmg-song. The 
words of their song are these: 

''Ai-yu' wa hoo hi, yea, ha-ha — ha — a! " 

They repeated this many times. After the two had sung their 
mournmg-song, the one took off the grizzly-bear hat and gave it to 
the chief, and he took ofif his red leggmgs and gave them to the chief, 
also his sinew bow. The young man who wore the mountain-goat 
hat took it off and gave it to the chief's nephew, and the woman gave 
her two dishes to the chief's wife. Then they went up the rock-slide 
again and were transformed into three grizzly bears. 

Later on the tliree elder brothers heard a noise on the other side. 
They went across quickly in their canoes, but they were too late. 
They met their youngest brother on his way back, but the three 
elder brothers paddled across in vain. They came back empty- 

Now the yoiuig chief became the richest among all his people. 
With his sinew bow he shot all kinds of animals; and while the winter 
famine lasted, he had plenty of meat of all kinds, fat of all kinds, and 
skms of all kinds. He fed all Ins people, also his three brothers, and 
all his people brought him all kinds of property as presents. 

Before the winter famine ended, he invited all the people of the 
river, and gave away property to them, and he put on his mountain- 
goat hat and sang one mourning-song while he piled up his property 
before it was given away. And this crest went on through all gener- 
ations throughout the ages. 

He made another feast and invited all the different tribes, and he 
wore his grizzly-bear hat and his red leggings, and he carried his 
sinew bow and sang the two mourning-songs which he had received 
from the grizzly bears who rewarded him for his kmdness to the 
Chief Bear. 

Then Ms wife showed the guests her two carved dishes, which she 
also had received from the grizzly bears in return for her kindness; 
and the guests were delighted to see the new crests and to hear the 
two songs. Then the chief proclaimed that no one should use these 
crests and his mourning-songs, only his clan after him through all 


generations. He also took his new chief's name, which the grizzly 
bear had given him to reward him for his kindness. This name was 

The three brothers were jealous of their younger brother, but the 
people of all the tribes loved and honored him, and Ms name was 
great among the people. His own tribe was very proud of their 
^chief, who was the richest among all the cliiefs. 

When he was old, he went again to his hunting-ground; and wliile 
he was there, while they were encamped, in the evening, a man came 
to him, and the old chief invited him to eat with him. So they ate 
together; and while they were eating, the man said, "I Mall give you 
my mountain-pole. You shall keep it, as you did the other tilings 
which I gave j'ou before." Then the old man's eyes opened, and he 
recognized him, and another song went with this pole. A small live 
man was seated at one end of the pole. 

When the old chief went home, he gave his last feast; and when all 
the guests were in, he took his new crest, the pole, and he sang the 
song of the pole. After he had given away all his property to liis 
guests, he said, "This is my last feast, and this is the last time I 
shall see your faces. I shall leave all my property to my only nephew, 
and also all my crests and my mourning-songs. He shall have all 
my power and my honor. He shall have my hunting-ground and 
my house, and he shall be kind as I have always been kind to my 
people." After that he gave his blessing to his nephew. Then he 
took a wooden drum, sang his mourning-song with all his relatives, 
and all the guests were sorry to hear his last kind words to his 
relatives. At the end of his song he lay down and died, and all 
the guests mourned over him for two days and two nights. His 
nephew succeeded him. 

{Another Version) 

Chief Dzeba'sa used the Prince Black Bear when he danced among 
the other cliiefs in the winter dance. In olden times, wlien the 
people still lived on the upper part of Skeena River, in Prairie Town, 
there was a great famine among the people. There were six chiefs 
in the village, and each had a house. During the famine the smoke 
continued to ascend from their houses every morning, but many of 
their tribe died of starvation. 

One morning in winter it was very cold. The Skeena River was 
full of ice, and snow covered the ground. Then a stranger came 
along on the ice. He went into the house of the oldest cliief, whose 
attendants spread a mat by the side of the fii-e, and the cliief ordered 
his attendants to put fuel on the fire. They did so. Then the chief 
asked the stranger, "Wliat kind of food do you eat down river?" 
The stranger replied, "I ate only snow while I was coming along." 

296 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY I eth. a.nn. 30 

So the chief ordered liis attendants to bring snow in a dish. They 
brought in a birge wooden dish filled with snow, and placed it 
before the stranger. Then the stranger stood up and went out. 
The stranger looked very poor. 

On the following morning the same stranger was seen coming along 
the ice. He went into the house of the second cliief , whose attendants 
spread mats for liim by the side of the fire. Then the chief ordered 
his attendants to put fuel on the fire, and they did so. The chief 
asked what kind of food the stranger had eaten when he was coming 
down the river. He replied, "I ate only snow when I was coming 
along." So the chief ordered his attendants to bring in snow in a 
wooden dish, and they did so. They filled a large wooden dish with 
snow, and placed it before the stranger. The stranger went out 
without touching the snow. 

The tliird morning he was seen coming along on the ice. He went 
into the house of the third chief, and the same happened as before. 
Finally, on the sixth morning, the stranger went into the house of 
the sixth chief, who was a very young man. The six cliiefs were 
brothers, and this one was the youngest of them. The stranger 
entered the house, and the young cluef welcomed him. He said to 
his attendants, "Spread the mats by the side of the fire." They did 
so, and they put fuel on the fire. The young chief had seen the 
meanness of his five brothers to the poor stranger who had come to 
their village, and he had made up Ms mind to be kind to liim and to 
comfort him. His wife arose, went to one of the boxes, opened it, 
and took out their last dried salmon, half of which she put back in 
her box. The other half she put in a wooden dish, and placed it 
before the stranger, who ate it. After the stranger had eaten, he 
said to the young chief, "Very early tomorrow morning go to the 
other side of the river. If you should hear anytliing, you might go 
across. I will then give you a present." The young chief did not 
sleep that night. Very early next morning he arose with liis attend- 
ant. They crossed the river, and as soon as they came to the other 
side, they heard a mourning-song. Then the Prince of the Black 
Bears came down from the hills singing this song, and with tlu-ee 
crests, red leggings, a mountain-goat hat, and a grizzly-bear hat, 
and he gave them to the chief in return for the half-salmon which 
he had eaten in the cliicf's house the day before. Then the five 
brothers of the young chief quarreled with their younger brother. 
Since that time the G"ispawadwE'da have the Prince of the Black 
Bears in their dances, with abalone shells in each ear and on each 
eye, and abalone shells on each tooth, and no chief besides Dzeba'sa 
can use Prince of the Black Bears. 

boas] tsimshiax myths 297 

49. Gau'O' 

(Printed in Boaa 13, pp. 193-226.) 

50. Story of the G'ispawadwe'da^ 

Once upon a time a man went out hunting mountain goats. He 
met a Black Bear, who carried him to his den. There the Bear taught 
him how to catch sahnon and how to build canoes. Two years later 
the man returned home. When he arrived, all the people were afraid 
of him, because he looked like a bear. One man, however, caught 
him and carried him to the house. He was unable to speak, and did 
not want to eat boiled meat. Then the people rubbed hini with 
medicine, until finally he resumed his human form. After this, 
whenever he was in difficulty, he went up the mountain to his 
friend the Bear, who would help him. In winter, when nobody was 
able to obtain salmon, he would catch fresh salmon for him. Then 
the man built a house, and painted it with a picture of the Bear. His 
sister wore a dancing-apron wath a representation of a bear. There- 
fore his sister's descendants use the bear as their crest up to this day.^ 

.51. TSAX,-DA AND HaLUS ^ 

There are many different tales belonging to the time after the 
great Deluge, when the people were scattered all over the earth, and 
when they had villages at Metlakahtla. 

There was a great chief who had a wife, and they had an only 
daughter who was very beautiful. In olden times people would love 
their children very much. So it was with this cliief and his wife. 
They loved their only beautiful daughter. They did not let her go 
out often in the daytime, and all the princes in the village of Metla- 
kahtla wanted to marry her; but her parents would not let her 
marry, because they loved her dearly. She Was quite young, and 
her father chose the daughters of his principal men to be her friends. 
Ten of these were chosen. Once a month throughout the year she 
would take a walk with the maids on the street of her father's village, 
and all the young princes followed her when they saw her walking on 
the street. 

Now, the princess came to be a woman, and she wished in her 
heart to marry soon, before she should be old ; and she lay in bed 
sleepless every night, thinking about this matter. Her bed was over 
her parents' bed, and the beds of her maids were under hers. 

One midnight she thought that she saw a vision. She saw a 
shining light come down through the smoke hole. It went to her, 
and she saw a young man in the midst of the shining light. He said 

1 Notes, p. 847. 2 >jotes, p. 855. ^ Translated from Boas 1, p. 293. 

298 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

to her, "Shall I marry you, my dear princess?" She said that she 
would tell her father, and the prince promised to come back again 
some other night. So he went. TMs prince came from heaven. 
His name was Tsauda, and his slave's name was Halus. Tlais prince 
had a wonderful garment of shining light. 

The following night he sent down his slave to talk to the young 
princess to ask her to marry hun. So his slave Halus went down to 
her. He went to her bedroom, going down through the smoke hole. 
He stood by her side, and the young princess smiled when she saw 
him coming back, as he had promised a few days before, and the 
slave Halus staid with her. The princess told the slave that her 
father had consented to tl'eu- marriage. The princess thought that 
this slave was the prince with the garment of shining light who had 
come to her a few days before, so she loved him very much ; and Halus 
told her that he had a good slave, and that he wanted her father to 
give him a wife. The young woman said, "I have a little sister, but 
she is lame, and I want to take her along when you take me to your 
father's house." 

Wlaile they were still talking, a shinuig light came tlu-ough the 
smoke hole, as before. Now the young woman was afraid, and 
Prince Shming Light said to liis slave Halus, ''Wliathave you been 
doing here?" but Halus remained silent. Tsauda said, "Everything 
that you do in the future will turn out badly, and you will be disap- 
pointed with your wife!" and Tsauda said, "I shall marry your lame 
sister, and she will have good fortune." 

Then he went away. Halus, however, loved his beautiful wife. 
On the followmg day Tsauda came and put on his shining-light gar- 
ment. He came to the chief's house, and the great chief was very 
kind to him. Soon after the chief had given him to eat, Tsauda said, 
"I wish your second daughter to be my wife." The great chief 
replied, "My second daughter — she is lame!" but the prince urged 
his suit, so at last the chief consented ; and Halus's wife was laughmg 
at Tsauda because his wife was lame. Tsauda, however, took no 
notice of what she said. 

After many days had passed Tsauda said to his lame wife, "I shall 
take you up to my father's house, and I shall wash you in my wash- 
tub." So on the followmg mornmg very early they went. Tsauda 
took his lame wife under his shining wing and flew upward. Now 
they arrived at Tsauda's father's house, and the supernatural chief 
was very glad to see his daughter-in-law. The supernatural chief 
took her and washed her four times in his own bathtub, and the lame 
girl shone almost as brightly as her husband Tsauda. And Tsauda's 
father gave to his son a magic sling and four sling-stones like pebbles 
out of a brook. Then Tsauda left his supernatural father's house; 
and when he arrived at his father-in-law's house, the latter was very 


iniich pleased to see them come home adain. His father-hi-hiw was 
glad to see his lame daughter transformed into a beautiful woman as 
fair as her husband. He loved Tsauda more than his elder daughter's 

One day his father-m-law said, "Tomorrow, when my son-in-law 
Halus comes home, let him bring some fu-ewood. I intend to in^^te 
my people. I want to tell them that I am going to invite all the 
chjefs from every village to the marriage feast." Halus awoke carlj^ 
in the morning and went for wood. He came to a sandy beacli and 
gathered the driftwood there, fdled his canoe quickly, and came back 
early in the forenoon. The great chief sent down his young people, 
and they carried the wood to the chief's house. 

Tsauda just blew some water from his mouth, and said, "The 
driftwood that Halus brought will just smoke in the house." Wlaen 
the young men piled up the driftwood on the fireplace, it began to 
smoke very much. 

Halus's mother-in-law loved him, while the chief loved Tsauda 
better. Now the mother-in-law's eyes were full of smoke. There- 
fore she tlirew the driftwood away from the fire, and said, "Oh, that 
common man Halus brought tlais smoking driftwood!" and Halus's 
beautiful wife began to cry, because she was very much ashamed. 

Early the next morning Tsauda went out to get wood; and when 
he reached a rocky place, he went up into the woods and brought down 
diy pitch wood. Soon he had filled his large canoe. His wife was 
with him. They came home during the forenoon, and many young 
men came down and carried up the good fu-ewood to the chief's 
house. They piled it up on the fireplace, and the pitch wood burned 
like fat. Then the chief loved Tsauda still more, and the chief gave 
a great festival to aU the fellow-chiefs from all the tribes because his 
two daughters were married. 

Early in spring all the Tsimshian were ready to move to Nass 
River for fishing; but the north wind was still blowing hard, and when 
they arrived outside of Port Simpson, they could not round the long 
point there. AU the canoes of the Tsimshian were on the south side 
of the long point. So Halus said, "Tsauda, let us throw our sling- 
stones through that rock, that our way may open!" and all the people 
shouted because Halus had a magic sling. Then Tsauda said, "You 
tlu-ow first, and I shall tlu-ow afterward!" Then Halus stood up 
on top of a large box and put his stone in a sling. Tsauda blew water 
out of liis mouth, and said, "Let Halus's sling-stone pass through his 
mother-m-law's lip-hole." 

(What I mean by lip-hole is this. The old women in our country 
had a queer custom, that every woman should have a hole in her 
lip. When a girl was able to walk and had no hole in her lip, they 
would call her a slave. Therefore when a girl was able to walk, 

300 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

her parents made a little hole iu her lip. They would call all men 
and women of their exogamic group, and the mother of the gii'l would 
give all she had to the husband's relatives, the aunts of the child; 
and when the child was grown up, they enlarged the lip-hole; and 
when she was full-grown, the lip-hole was larger than her mouth. 
The highest cMeftainess had a lip-hole larger than that of any other 
woman. This was a sign that she was of high rank. She was the 
wife of a great chief or the relative of a great chief.) 

Now Halus tlu-ew his sling-stone. Before he threw it, he swung 
his sling over his own head, and the stone slipped off from his sling 
and went through the lip-hole of his mother-in-law. Then all the 
people shouted and clapped their hands. Next Tsauda stood up 
and said, "Let me try to use my poor sling! " So all the people were 
quiet. He took up his sling and a smooth pebble out of his bag. 
He tlirew it, and there was adarge hole through the rock, and the 
way was opened for them to pass through. All the canoes went up 
through it. 

Before they reached their fishing-camp, the chief said, "I need that 
copper yonder on the top of the high mountain." Therefore all the 
canoes assembled at the foot of the high mountain. 

(That large copper was hanging on top of that high mountain. F<ir 
many years they had seen it, but they could not get it. Many daring 
men tried to take it, but they all perished, because no one was able 
to climb the slippery rock. Copper was then very expensive among 
the people. Therefore they tried over and over again, and they 
could not get it because the rocks were so slippery and the top of the 
mountain was very cold. Therefore all the brave men perished on 
that mountain.) 

Now Halus was ready. He stood up in the canoe and took out 
his sling and a stone, ready to throw it. Then Tsauda blew out some 
water from his mouth, and said, "Let Halus's sling-stone go through 
the bow of his father-in-law's canoe!" and when Halus swung his 
shng, the stone slipped out and went through the bow of his father- 
in-law's canoe. Then all the people clapped their hands and shouted 
as much as they could. Now Halus had tvnce disappointed them. 
They said, "Oh, oh, you clumsy one!" Halus felt very much 
ashamed, and his wife cried, and also his mother-in-law was much 
ashamed; and Halus was angry and threw away his magic sling. 
Tsauda put a stone in his sling, stood up on a box, and threw a stone. 
It hit the large copper on the top of the high mountain: "Dammnn ! " 
Then all the people shouted for joy, and the great copper came 
sliding down slowly. Then all the men and women stepped forward 
and blew water out of their mouths against the copper, and said, 
''Toward northwest!" and "Toward the rivers!" and when the men 
and women spoke these words, the large copper, which was sliding 


down slowly, divided in the middle; and one jjart flew away to the 
northwest (Alaska), and another part flew away to the head of 
Copper River (the head of the rivers). This is the reason why good 
copper was found in Alaska long before the white people came to this 
country, and that good copper was also found at one of the head 
waters of Skeena River. Our people call this copper " living copper." 

(Tliey say that a spring salmon went up this river; and when they 
reached the deep water at the upper part of the river, the salmon 
became copper. Therefore the Indians laiow that there was live 
copper in this brook or river.) 

After Tsauda had thrown the copper from the top of the high 
mountain, they went on until they arrived at their camping-place, 
and made ready for fishing; but somehow the fish were late in coming. 
When the time had come for the fish to arrive, the river was full, 
and everybody went out to fish. The men had their wives with them 
in the fishing-season. 

(Wlien the fish fii-st go up the river, the Indians use wooden rakes. 
The man sits in the bow of the canoe, and the woman sits in the stern 
to keep the canoe straight, and to steer it quickly among the manj^ 
canoes. They use large canoes, and in half a day they fill them with 
olachen. The men work day and night with the rakes. They went 
with the tide until eight days had passed. Then they changed their 
fishing-implements. They put away the rake — a wooden rake made 
out of dry red cedar, and pins made out of large rotten spruce 
branches. The inner part of the branch is very hard. They split 
it and sharpen it hke the point of a pin. They are three fingers long. 
Then they change these rakes after eight days, and they use the 
bag net, because the olachen goes farther down in deeper water. 
Therefore they use the bag net. They put the bag net at the end of 
a pole five fathoms long, and everything thus. Two or three people 
are in each canoe. The man holds the net-pole, and his wife and the 
man's sister or mother are with them.) 

Now Halus was very proud because he had a beautifid wife, and he 
showed her among the people on the fishing-ground. He did not care 
much about the fishing. When the fishing-implements were changed, 
the chief said to his elder daughter, ' ' Let your husband fill one canoe 
for me tomorrow, and one for each of your three uncles, and Tsauda 
shall do the same. " 

The followmg morning they both set out. Halus went very early 
with his wife and mother-in-law, and Tsauda went with his wife and 
one female slave. Tsauda went a little later. Halus went among the 
canoes which were fidl of fish. Then Tsauda blew water from his 
mouth, and said, "Let Halus's bag net be filled with mud of the river, 
chips, and whole leaves from the trees, but let him not get any fish!" 
Halus took his pole wdth the bag net on it and went to work; but 

302 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

every time he let down his bag net, it came up full of mud from the 
river. Tsauda, however, filled his large canoe with fishes, and they 
went home early. Many slaves carried up the fish to his father-in- 
law. As soon as they had emptied the large canoe, they went again 
the same dciy, and toward evening Tsauda came home again. Then 
his father-in-law's slaves carried the fish to his father-in-law. He 
had two large canoes full of fish, which he gave to his father-in-law. 
Late in the evening the chief's other son-in-law came home secretly. 
That was Halus. Before dayUght Halus went again with his wife 
and his mother-in-law; but he caught nothing, only leaves and mud. 

Tsauda went again with his wife and a female slave, and before noon 
he had filled his large canoe with fish. 

Tsauda met Halus while he was going home, and Halus's bag net 
was full of leaves, mud, chips, and all lands of rubbish; and when 
Tsauda came alongside his canoe, Halus was ashamed to see Tsauda's 
canoe full of fish. Now Tsauda gave his fish to his wife's elder uncle; 
and soon after he had eaten in the house of his wife's uncle, while the 
slaves were still carrjdng up his fish, Tsauda started again. He passed 
the place where Halus was, and he made fun of him. "Have you 
filled your canoe now with fallen leaves ? " Halus felt very much dis- 
tressed on account of what his master said. He cried, and his wife 
also was sad, and so was his mother-in-law. Tsauda went in his 
canoe twice in one day and filled it with fish. He gave one canoe to 
his wife's second uncle. 

On the following morning Tsauda went early; and when he was 
fishing, his bag net was filled with fish. Just as before, his canoe 
was full again. Halus came toward him, and said, "Master, will 
you let me have some of your fish to take in my canoe?" Tsauda 
replied, "Wait until the season is over." Therefore Halus was much 
ashamed. He stood up and jumped out of his canoe, and said, "I shall 
become your snag." He was drowned. His wife also jumped out 
of the canoe, and said, "I shall be your codfish." 

Tsauda continued to work with the bag net. Halus went to 
Tsauda's bag net and cauglit it. Tsauda's net was caught. Tsauda 
knew that Halus had caught his bag net. Therefore he said, "Halus, 
let go of that net! If you don't let go of it, I will curse you." But 
Halus did not want to let go. Then Tsauda cursed Halus, and he 
became a red cod. He told him that his head would always be 
downward and his tail upward, and that if he looked up, then his 
stomach would come out through his mouth and he would die and 
float on the water. That is why the red cod is this way now. As 
soon as it looks up, it comes up to the surface of the water, for its 
stomach comes out through its mouth. 

Halus's beautiful wife became a codfish, a blue-side cod, which is 
a beautiful fish. Tsauda caught her in his bag net, and he recog- 


nized his sister-in-law. As soon as he saw her among the olachen, 
he took her out and threw her into the water again. That is the 
reason why the blue-side cod is the prettiest of all the fishes, for it was 
a princess. 

ITalus's mother-in-law was very sad because she had lost her beau- 
tiful daughter. She came home full of sorrow; but, for fear of her 
son-in-law Tsauda, she did not dare to look angry, lest he transform 
her into a fish. 

Now Tsauda's wife was with cliild, and gave birth to a beautiful 
daughter. Tsauda said, "Tliis is my sister-in-law come back again 
through my A\-ife;" and the girl had four holes in each ear and a hole 
in her lip and in the septum of the nose, as a sign of her high rank. 
Then they gave her a baby girl's name. Another Dear Girl (G"ik-hi- 
da'^lk). Tsauda gave tliis cliild to liis mother-in-law, and she took 
comfort because her daughter had come back to her again. She 
loved her more than her own daughter whom she had lost. 

Soon the people had finished boiling their fish, and they moved 
down to their village. Tsauda's father-in-law also moved; and 
when they arrived at home, Tsauda said to his father-in-law, "Soon 
I shall go away to my own home with my wife. When she has 
another cliild like herself, I ^\-ill come again and give it to you, so that 
you may have another girl like the one you had before. You shall 
call her Moon." 

On the following day Tsauda went away to liis father's home \vith 
his %vife ; and when he arrived there, liis own father was much pleased 
to see his son and his ^^^fe; and after they had been there a wliile, 
Tsauda's wife gave birth to another child, and Tsauda took the cMld 
and gave it to Ms mother-in-law, as he had promised before he left 

When Tsauda and his daughter flew toward his father-in-law's home, 
the child was grown up to be a woman; and when Tsauda arrived 
there, he took her out from under his wings, and a young woman 
came out, whom he handed to his mother-in-law. They received the 
child joj^ully, and named her Moon, as Tsauda had requested. 

These two girls grew up to be very beautiful young women, like 
their lost aunts. Tsauda, however, went, and never came back 
again. His wife also never came back. Tliis is a story of the Wolf 

When the elder girl was married, she told her husband that her 
father, Tsauda, told her of a good copper in the Copper Creek at 
the head of Skeena River. Therefore the prince called his three 
young men to go v/iih him to see the good copper at the head of that 
creek; and when they were going in theu* canoe up the river, they 
smelled sweet-smelling scents; and when they Avent farther up, they 
smelled still more fragi'ant odors; and they went on and on, and the 

304 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

odor was sweeter than ever. Before evening they camped, and the 
prince went into the woods; and as he went through the valley, he 
saw something standing in the middle of a nice plain, moving and 
waving. He went near it, and he saw that it was a live tree of odors. 
So he ran to it and embraced it, and all the branches of the tree also 
embraced him, and the living tree pressed him hard and squeezed 
him; and before he lost consciousness, he shouted, to call his men to 
come to his help. They ran quickly, and saw the prince and the 
living tree of odors embracing each other. The prince said to his 
men, "Dig away the earth from the roots cjuickly." The men dug 
away the earth quickly; and when all the roots were out of the 
ground and the branches were dead, the prince was released from the 
branches. All the branches let go of his body. 

This is the tree of odors, or the live tree. 

Tliis prince was very successful, because he was married to the 
daughter of a supernatural being. He cut the tree into short 
pieces, and he also cut the branches and the roots, and he gave to each 
of his men one root; and his men filled their bags with the soil from 
the place where the tree of odors had been, and when they came 
back home, they sold them for a high price. Then all the chiefs from 
all the tribes came to buy one of the short pieces at a high price, and 
the princes and the princesses came and bought pieces of the tree of 
odors, and the prince became a great chief. 

Then the younger daughter of Tsauda said to her husband, "My 
dear, my father has told me that there is a good copper at the head 
of a creek;" and the husband of the younger one called his yoiing 
men to go with him up there. The following day thej^ set out and 
went up that creek, and night after night they camped. That young 
prince went walking along the bank of the river, searching for smooth 
copper pebbles; but he could not find any, because the time had not 
come yet. They traveled on many days, until they reached a place 
way up the river, and toward evening they camped there. There 
was not much water in the river, and they could not travel on by 
canoe, because three small brooks joined where they camped, and at 
this place the deep water ended. The young prince walked along the 
bank of the river. Then he saw many salmon. He hastened back to 
his men, and told them that many salmon were in the deep water 
there. Therefore he took his salmon-spear and went down again, 
while his men started to light a fire in the camp. He went down, and 
stood there ready. Wlien he saw a large salmon come up, he struck it 
and took hold of it. He dragged it up to the shore and clubbed it. 
Then he took out his dart and threw the salmon backward. So the 
salmon struck the smooth stones of the river-bank. It sounded like 
copper. Then the young prince went to the place where he had 
thrown the salmon. He took it up again to see if anything was under 


it, and, behold! the salmon was transformed into copper. So he 
took it lip to the camp of his men and showed it to them, and they 
were all very happy. In the night they got ready for the next morn- 
ing. They spent the whole night making a new pole and new darts 
to be used the next day. Before daylight they all went to sleep, and 
the prince took his copper and put it under his head as his pillow. 
Late on the following morning, when the sun was high in the sky, the 
steersman woke up and aroused Ms fellows; and when the breakfast 
was ready, they called the prince. Then they found that he was dead. 
They wept over him; but the wise man said to his fellows, "He died 
because the live copper killed him. Let us burn it!" Thus said the 

They threw thc^ copper into the fire to be burned, took the bark of a 
dried spinice tree, and started a large fire, and the live copper was 
melting; and when the fire had gone out, the pure copper remained 
in the ashes like a pole. They saw that the copper was very good 
and soft. They took it and put it into a bark bag, took the prince's 
body down to the canoe, wrapped him in a new cedar-bark mat, and 
carried liim in their canoe down the river. 

When they arrived at home, and the prince's wife saw him dead 
and saw the melted copper, she felt very sad. She went into the 
woods weepmg for her husband. 

While she was sitting at the foot of a large white-pme tree, she 
heard a noise on the tree above, and saw a shijiing light. There was 
a man who came down from the top of the white-pine tree and smiled at 
her, and said, "My dear daughter, what ails you?" She said, "My 
beloved husband is dead." And Tsauda replied, "Don't feel sorry 
for him! If you want him alive again, I will resuscitate him, my 
dear daughter ! ' ' 

Now, Moon knew that her father had come down to visit her. 
Therefore she stopped crying, and said, "Brmg hmi back to life for 
my sake!" Tsauda. said, "Call out all the people, and I will bring 
him back to life." So she went uito the house. She sent out all 
the people. Tsauda came iu and took the cold water of life from the 
sprmg and sprinkled his face with the water. He slapped the dead 
man on both cheeks with the palms of his hands, and said, "Come 
back to life from death, son-in-law!" and the prince sat up, and his 
wife came to him and embraced him. 

Then Tsauda said, when the young man was ahve again, and when 
aU the people had come into the house, "Be careful of the living 
copper of that river! Let nobody go there, but my son-in-law and 
his descendants ! I shall teach them how to kiU the live copper and 
how to make costly coppers. Then he shall teach his children as I 
taught him." Thus spoke Tsauda to the people; and when his 
speech was at an end, he called his son-in-law aside, and also his 
50fi33°— 31 ETH— 16 20 

306 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY Teth. ann. 31 

youngest daughter, and told them how to kill the live copper. He 
said, "As soon as you catch the salmon coppers or live coppers, 
make a large fu-e and throw the salmon coppers into it, as many as 
you caught m one evening at your camp. You must throw them all 
into the fire, and the fumes wiU not hurt you, but it wUl make you 
richer than any chief in the whole world; but if you tell these high 
commands to some of your relatives or friends or to your tribe, you 
shall become poorer than ever, and those to whom you have told my 
secret shall become rich. Let nobody go with you to that river! — 
only you two, you and my dear daughter. She shall go with you; 
and if she has some children, then you shall take them with you; 
and whoever goes there without your consent, he shall die by the 
fumes of the live coppers." 

After Tsauda had given this advice to them, he said to his favorite 
daughter, "Now, my dear, go with me to the foot of that white-pme 
tree!" and when they reached there, he told his daughter, "You 
shall cat the pitch that covers this white-pine bark as a medicine 
agamst the uifluence of your copper-work. You shall rub it over 
your hands and face before you take the live copper." As soon as 
Tsau(Ui had said this, he flew up to his supernatural home. 

Then the prmce and his wife went up there for coppers. He did 
all that his father-in-law had commanded him to do, and he was the 
first copper-worker among the natives. He became richer than any 
chief round about, and his fame spread all over the country. Chiefs 
from all the different tribes came to buy his costly coppers with 
many thousands of costly annual skins, and canoes, slaves, boxes of 
gi'case, costly abalone shells, and aU kinds of things. So this prince 
was great among all the chiefs. He gave away many times costly 
coppei-s, male and female slaves, elk skins, and all kmds of goods. 
At his last great feast he invited the chiefs of all the tribes, and they 
proclaimed that he should take his great grandfather's name. Around 
The Heavens, and all the chiefs said that he should be the head chief. 

52. Story of the Wolf Clan ' 

There were two villages in the Strait of Metlakahtla. One was 
uihabited by the Eagle Clan, the other by the Wolf Clan; and they 
were on friendly terms, for the chief of the Eagle Clan was married 
to the princess of the Wolf Clan, whose name was Bidal. The 
chief's name was Nes-wa-na'°. 

Once upon a time these two friendly people agreed to buUd a weir 
between the two islands, so as to catch seals and fishes at low tide. 
After they had finished the weir connectuig the two towns, they 
made an agreement that whoever should awake first in the mornuag 
should go down and take something caught by the weir. The people 

1 Notes, p. 857. 


of the Wolf t'lan would go down first almost every morning. There- 
fore the chief of the Eagle Clan was angry with his brothei-in-law's 
tribe, and war began between them. 

The Eagle Clan gained the victory over their enemies, and the 
chief killed all his wife's relatives. Then he took the weir as his 
own. Therefore his people went down every morning and brought 
up sometimes seals or halibut or other kinds of fish. 

In the other village only women and girls remained. No men 
were there. After a while a prmcess, the wife of the chief, gave birth 
to a girl. So the chief asked the women who nui-sed his wife, "What 
kind of a baby is it ?" They told him that it was a girl, and he was 
glad of this. He said to liis slaves, "Keep her in good health." 

After a while the young woman was again with child; and when 
the time came, she gave birth again. The chief asked the women 
agam, and they told him that the child was a boy. Then the chief 
ordered his attendants to kill his own son, and they did as he had 
ordered them. His wife's grief was almost too much to bear. 

Again she was with child; and when the time came, and she gave 
birth, the chief asked agam his wife's nurse, "What kind of a baby 
is it?" They told him that it was a boy, and he ordered them to 
kill him. They obeyed and killed him. 

Now, the girl grew up. She looked mto the sun, and her eyes 
became sore. Therefore her father named her Y&°L 

The mother was with child again; and when the time came, she 
gave birth. When the chief asked the nurses, they told him that the 
child was a boy, and he ordered them to kill him. They killed him 
also, and the young princess's grief was almost too great. 

She was with cliild agam; and when the time came, she called her 
owTi maid, and said to her, "When I give birth again, and the child 
is a boy, do not tell the chief when he asks you, but tell him that it is 
a gii'l, else he might kill hmi also." The maitlservant promised her 
to do so; and when the time came and she gave birth, a boy was born. 

The chief asked the princess's maidservant, "What kind of a baby 
is it?" and she deceived him, and said, "It is a girl." So the chief 
said, "Keep her in good health." The child, however, was a boy. 

The prmcess, the chief's wife, kept her boy and trained hmi. 
The boy grew up to be a youth, and the father learned that his wife's 
maidservant had deceived him. Therefore he was angry ^vith her, 
and one day killed her. 

The boy, however, grew up. His mother was always with him, 
for she knew that liis father sought the child's life. She told her 
son that his father had slaiii all her relatives and all her sons. 

Now the chief's hatred of his wife and of Ms son was so great that 
liis wife and her son fled. The young man called thi-ee youths, his 
friends. Every day they went and hunted birds. The young prince 

308 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. 31 

was very skillful in making bows and arrows, and he gave them to his 
three friends. When they grew up to be young men, they were able 
to shoot large animals. Then the mother of the prince told her son 
all that Ms wicked father had done to her other sons, how he had 
killed them as soon as they were born, and she told her son how his 
father had killed all her brothers and uncles on account of the trap 
that had been built between the two villages, and she told liim every- 
thing about her wicked husband. 

The young man took pity on her and wept with her, and he hated 
his father; and one day he killed him to avenge his uncles and his 
mother's uncles and his own brothers, but he was afraid lest the 
people should laugh at liim. 

Then his mother told liim a story about an arrow with a living 
reptile-head, wMch was in another village far away in the uttermost 
parts of the world, in the northwest, in the house of a chief called 
Gutginsa'. She said, "Many brave men have tried to gain this 
arrow of supernatural power, but they all failed because it is so far 
away." Thus spoke the woman to her son. 

Then the young man left his mother. He called his four compan- 
ions who had always been with liim ever since his youth. He told 
them the story that liis mother had told him, and he said to his com- 
panions that he intended to go there. They all agreed. 

Thoy made a good-sized canoe; and when they finished the canoe, 
the prince asked liis mother to collect as much food as she could. 
She did as her only son said. Then they loaded their canoe with all 
kinds of food — grease, fat, dried berries, meat — also with coppers, 
eagle down, and red ocher, and set out. They went toward the 

One night they camped in a certain place. Then the young man, 
all by liimself, went into the woods to wash, in order to gain success, 
while his companions started the camp-fire. Wlule he was in the 
brook batliing, he beheld a young man who stood by the pool where 
he was bathing. The young man said to Mm, "What have you done 
with my batMng-place ? " The prince, who was batMng, said, "O 
supernatural one, take pity on me! I did not know that tliis pool 
belonged to you. I came hero to bathe because I wanted to have 
success and take revenge on the enemy of my relatives." Then the 
supernatural being siiid to Mm, "What do you want to have?" The 
young man I'epHed, "My mother told me that a cMef in a far-away 
country has a live arrow. His name is Gutginsa'." 

The supernatural being rephed, "Yes, it is very far away from 
here, in the outermost part of the world, but you shall get there. I 
will let you have my blanket ; and whenever you reach a village, you 
shall wear it, and you shall shout beliind the houses. Then they shall 
tell you how many more villages there are before you reach the place 


where you want to go; but you shall liide your canoe from every 
tribe that you pass. Don't show yourselves, lest they teU you how 
difficult is the way that you are to go ; and you shall order your com- 
panions always to offer burnt-offerings." 

After the sujiernatural being had said so, he handed him the skin 
of a sparrow and vanished from Ms sight. 

Then the young man went to Ms companions, who were encamped, 
and told them to offer a burnt-offering. They did so. 

On the following morning they went on, and toward evemng they 
saw a village in the distance. They camped near by and Md their 
canoe. Early the following mormng the young man put on Ms 
sparrow blanket, flew up, and aUghted on the branches of a tree 
beMnd the house of the cMef of the village. Then the sparrow 
began to sing; and an old man in the cMef's house said, "O super- 
natural one, supernatural one! there are many more villages before 
you reach the place where you want to go." 

They started again, and reached the next village. The prince put 
on Ms sparrow garment, alighted on the top of the cMef's house, and 
began to siag, "Gisguuts gut ginsai!" An old man who heard the 
bird said, "O supernatural one, supernatural one! the country that 
you want to reach is very far away." 

The prince's companion made a burnt-ofl'ering in every place where 
they camped. 

They started again, and reached another village, and, sitting on 
the top of the cMef's house, he began to sing, as he had done before in 
the villages that they had passed. The same answer came from the 
mouth of an old man, who said that there were many more villages 
before they would reach there. 

They went on, and passed many villages. Finally they came to a 
large village; and the prince put on his sparrow blanket and began 
to sing, as before ; and an old man in the cMef's house said, " O super- 
natural one, supernatural one! there are only three more villages 
before you reach there, but it wiU take a month to go from one village 
to the next one." 

They traveled on and on. A month passed, and they reached the 
next village, larger than the preceding one. The prince put on his 
sparrow blanket and began to sing, as before. Then the old man 
in the cMef's house said, "O supernatural one! there are only two 
more villages before you reach there, but it takes a month to go from 
tMs village to the next one." 

They started again, and at the end of a month they arrived at the 
next village, larger than the other two. The prince put on Ms spar- 
row blanket and alighted on the cMef's house and began to sing. 
Then the old man in the chief's house said, "O supernatural one! 

310 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY Ieth. ann. 31 

there is only one village moro before you reach there, but it takes a 
month to go from here to that village." 

They went on again, and at the end of the following month they 
arrived at the last village. The prince put on his sparrow garment 
and began to sing, seated on top of the chief's house. The old chief 
said, "Come down to me, supernatural one! I wiU give you advice 
as to how to obtain the hfe arrow. You might perish between here 
and Chief Gutginsa"s village." 

So the prince went in and sat down on one side of the large house. 
The cliief asked him, "Where are your companions?" and the young 
man replied that they were in hiding behind the village. Then the 
cliief ordered Ms attendants to bring them to the house, and they 
went to call them. The chief ordered liis men to giye food to the 
guests, and they did so. 

After they had eaten, the chief said, "My dear prince, I have seen 
how patient you have been all along the way you came. I know you 
have met with many difficulties, and still you kept on going. Now, 
there is no other village besides tliis, and no land. This is the one 
corner of heaven, and there is only the air beyond. Therefore 
no living being can reach there, where Chief Gutginsa"s house is. 
Therefore let your young men remain here in my house, and I will 
go with you. Wear your sparrow garment, and I shall put on my 
hummingbird garment. Then we will fly to the air island where 
Chief Gutginsa' lives, and we will borrow his life arrow until the time 
when your enemy shall have been destroyed. Then he shall take it 
back again. I received all your burnt-offerings that you made along 
the way." 

The prince decided to follow his advice, and the cMef also told 
liis companions to continue their offerings while they were away. 
He said, "We shall be back tomorrow evening." 

The next morning they started. Chief Hummingbird flew first, 
and the Sparrow behind him. They flew upward under the clouds; 
and when they saw the air island before them, it seemed as large as 
a man's finger. They came nearer, and arrived there at the same 
time. Then the two birds flew into the house of Chief Gutginsa'. 

Now Cliief Hummingbird said, "My dear, great chief! will you lend 
us your Hve, destropng arrow untU this my brother has taken revenge 
on the enemies of his relatives 1 Then you shall take it back again." 
Chief Gutginsa' gave his destroying arrow to Chief Hummingbird. 
They flew back, and it was late in the evening when they came home 
safely, while the prince's companions were stiU making burnt- 

Cliief Hummingbird said, " Keep this arrow in good order, and let 
nobody see it, lest the arrow should kill some one; but if you want to 



Kill anything;, tell your arrow the name of the enemy, of tlie man or 
of the animal you want. Don't leave it in the house, but put it in a 
box, and place the box on a tree, and don't go in to a woman as long 
as you keep the arrow. When you get home, invite some old men 
from every tribe, one at a time, and let them instruct you how to 
use it; but don't ask the old men how to use it, only ask them what 
employment they have had since they were youths, and each will tell 
you some curious story. Then stop them and send them out with 
some person until you find a warrior. You shall reward him amply, 
and he will instruct you how to use the arrow guMani, for that is its 
name." Thus spoke Chief Hummingbird. 

The following morning they started for home Chief Hummingbird 
said, "Keep the bow of your canoe toward the rising sun, but you 
shall not travel by canoe. Wear your sparrow garment and fly 
ahead of the canoe; and when you are tired, sit down on the bow of 
your companions' canoe. Then, after four days, you shall reach 
home; but if you travel in your canoe, you shall take a whole year 
to return." 

Now they started. The Sparrow flew ahead of the canoe, and the 
canoe went very rapidly; and whenever the Sparrow was weary, 
he alighted on the bow of his companions' canoe to take a rest; and 
after being refi-eshed, they started again. Thus they went on and 
on, until after four days they arrived at home. Their relatives were 
glad to see them back safe. 

The ]irince's father kept the tribe of the young man as slaves, and 
treated them badly. Sometimes he would kill people of his son's 
tribe, and the young man was very much displeased to see this. 

The prince's house was full of skins of grizzly bears. One day he 
sent out his slaves to invite one of the old men of his father's tribe. 
Wlien the old man came in, he spread one of the grizzly-bear skins 
at the side of his house. Then they gave the guest good food to eat; 
and after the old man had eaten, the prince went to the place where 
he was sitting, and said to him, "Just tell me what has been your 
employment since you were a young man." The old man smiled, and 
said, "Oh, why do you ask me? I am the man with whom every 
woman has been in love fi-om my youth on." The prince replied, 
"That is not my desire. Go out, and take with you the grizzly-bear 
skin on which you are sitting." The old man went out, and took 
with him the grizzly-bear skin. 

The following day he sent and invited an old man of another tribe; 
and when the old man came in, the prince spread a grizzly-bear skin 
on tlie side of the house, and the old man was made to sit on it. After 
he had eaten his evening meal, the prince went to the place where his 
guest was sitting, and said to him, " Wliat has been your employment 
ever since you were young?" The old man answered, and said, 

312 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [kth. ann. 31 

' Wliy do you ask mc? I have done my best to meet a good-looking 
ivife." The prince said, "That is not my desire. Go out, and take 
the grizzly-bear skin on which you are sitting." The old man went, 
taking his grizzly-bear skin along. Then another one was invited ; 
and after this old man had eaten liis meal, the prince went to him, 
and said, "Wliat has been your employment ever since you were 
young?" The old man rejjUed, and said, "Oh, why do you ask me? 
I have been married to many beautiful girls whom I have loved." 

The prince said, " Stop ! That is not my desire. Go out, and take 
the grizzly-bear skin on which you are sitting." 

Long ago there were twelve tribes among the Tsimsliian, and only 
nine remain. In each of these tribes there was one old man. Finally 
one very old man of the tribe of G'it-la'n, named Wiludal, who was 
blind of old age, was invited by the prince. Wlien he came in, they 
led liim to the grizzly-bear skin that was spread on one side of the 
prince's house, and they gave him as good food as they had given the 
others. After the meal the prince went to where he was sitting, 
and questioned him. "What has been your employment ever since 
you were young?" Then the old man said, "Bring me a bow and 
arrow. Gird my loins, and ])laee the two large empty boxes yonder, 
that I may leap over them; then aim my arrow at a knot-hole." 
After he had said so, they led him to the door. "Now shout!" 
said he. The people in the house shouted, and the old warrior 
leai)ed about. He did not turn his face after he had shot, but ran 
forward and leaped backward over the big boxes that had been 
placed there, to the same place from which he had started. He shot 
right through the knot-hole. Then he said, " Yalala! I shoot right 
through the eye." Now the prince was glad to receive good instruc- 
tions, and he rewarded the old man amply. He called him in day 
after day until he knew how to hold his weapons. 

Now the young prince became rich. He invited all the chiefs of 
the tribes to his house, and gave away much property to his guests. 
Then he took his mother's eldest uncle's name, and his name was 
now Asagulyaan. All the chiefs received his gifts gladly. Asagul- 
yaan was the name of the man who accompanied the young prince's 
father when the}' first built the weir between the towns, and who 
was killed by the prince's father. Therefore the chief who had Idlled 
the young man's relatives was ashamed, because his son loved his 
own relatives better than him. 

Therefore the chief tried in every way to entrap his own son, 
intending to kill him; but his son knew his father's heart, because 
the supernatural being told him what his father's thoughts were. 

Another time the young prince sent messengers to all the tribes, 
inviting all the chief's ]>rinces, cliieftainesses, and princesses; and 
when all the head men of all the tribes were in his house, he said to 


liis guests before lie distributed his gifts,' "I announce that I am 
taking all my grandfather's greatness. I shall be the greatest head 
cliief. " None of the chiefs replied. He said, furthermore, "I shall 
make my sister great among the chieftainesses. I give her the name 
Ya°l, which means 'eyes bUnded by the sun;' and my old mother 
shall keep her own name, Bidal." Then he gave liis great gifts to 
Ids guests — costly coppere, slaves, canoes, elk skins-, boxes of grease, 
boxes of dried berries, horn spoons, raccoon skins, and all kinds of 

Then his father was still more angry with his son. Before he left 
his son's house, he said to liis attendants that he would kill his own 
son after the feast was over. The reason why the father was angry 
was that he himself was the head chief among the Tsimsliian at that 

When the feast of the new cliief, Asagulyaan, was over, there was 
no trouble among the people in all the tribes of the Tsimshian in the 
old towns at Metlakahtla. It was midwinter. 

Then iVsagulyaan took liis live arrow and went over to his father's 
village secretly at night. He crept up to liis father's house at mid- 
night; and when he came to the smoke hole, he took up his live arro^, 
and said to it, "Go through the heart of the chief who killed all my 
relatives, then come back to me tomorrow!" Then the arrow went 
right into the heart of the cliief, who died there, and the arrow 
remained there the whole night. 

^•Ul the people in the house of the chief were quiet. Wlien the sun 
rose up high in the sky, one of the cliief's beloved wives went to call 
him. She took the mat off from her husband's face, and, behold! 
he was dead. The end of an arrow appeared over his heart. Then 
she cried out, "Oh, dear chief! who killed you?" Then the whole 
chief's tribe came in, and they saw the end of the arrow in his heart. 
So they took the arrow from the chief's heart and passed it around to 
look at it. They saw that the head of the arrow was like that of a 
reptile, whose eyes twinkled when any one looked at its face. They 
saw that the teeth of the arrow were Uke dogs' teeth. 

After the chief's people had examined the arrow, it flew from their 
hands through the smoke hole, and said "Guidanaf" and therefore 
the {)eople call the living arrow " giddana." 

The chief's people went to every village and inquired who shot the 
chief in liis house, and all the villages answered that they had nothing 
against the great chief. Therefore they came back home late in the 
evening. Then the whole tribe of the cliief singed their hair with 
fire, as was the custom among the people when a great chief died ; and 
the whole tribe blackened theu" faces witii charcoal, great and small, 

1 It is the custom to lift a costly copper above the head of a great chief to confirm his words. 

314 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

high and low. Before they buried the chief, they invited all the 
cliiefs of the tribes, and every tribe took their own cluef in their canoe 
to the dead chief's village, and a nephew of the dead chief handed his 
goods to all the chiefs in their canoes on the water. This was the 
young man who succeeded to his uncle's place. He would Uft up an 
elk skin before each chief, and when lifting it up he would call out the 
chief's name. 

When aU the cliiefs had received their presents, they remembered 
the young prince Asagulyaan. They called him by his nickname; 
and when they lifted up a smaU elk skin for him, the successor of the 
dead chief said, "The son of Bidal." Then the small elk skin was 
passed from one canoe to another, until finally it reached the canoe 
of the young new chief. Then he stood up in his canoe, threw the 
small elk skin into the water, and said, "Is this common elk skin 
given to caU out the name of Son Of Bidal?" and his companions 
paddled away from the place. 

Then the nephew of the dead chief said to his people that that slave 
had killed his own father. After this all the chiefs went to their 
own villages. 

,0n the following morning a great multitude of people assembled 
in front of the house of Asagulyaan, and the whole beach was covered 
with people. There was a large rock in the middle of the sandy 
beach, and a long ladder was standing in front of the carved house 
reaching to the roof of Asagulyaan's house. Another ladder reached 
the roof from the interior. Before the young cliief went forth to 
fight against liis enemies, the people in his house were shouting, and 
eagle down flew upward through the smoke hole. Then the young 
cliief came out through the smoke hole, wearmg on his head a cliiefs 
headdress set with abalone shells, and wearing his dancing-garments, 
his dancing-aprons, leggings, and rattle. He held his bow in one 
hand, liis rattle in the other. Then he ran down the long ladder 
in front of his house, and, leaping here and there, ran right down to the 
beach, where the people were waiting for liim. He jumped over the 
large rock in the middle of the sandy beach, and then he let his live 
arrow go. He ran backward, and jumped backward over the large 
rock, and ran up the long ladder in front of his house. Then the hve 
arrow went through the hearts of the people; and when the arrow 
was weary, it returned to its master; and the young chief took it and 
wiped it, and put it into his box, and the beach in front of his house 
was full of dead people. The stomach of the live arrow was filled 
with men's blood. 

On the following day another multitude of people came against him. 
Wlien he was ready, all the people in his house began to shout. They 
beat their wooden drum and clapped their hands, and the young cliief 


came up, bird's down risiiiij before he appeared throujili the smoke hole. 
Then he came down from the roof of his house on the long ladder which 
stood iu front. He leaped here and there, jumped over the rock, ran 
among the crowd, and let go his living arrow. Then the arrow said, 
"Guldana!" Tlien Asagulyaan ran back, jumped backward over the 
rock, and never turned his face from his foes. Then he ran up the 
long ladder and down through the smoke hole. His arrow killed 
many people. Then it returned to its master, who took it, and saw 
that its stomach was full of blood. He wiped it and put it back into 
the box. Now the new chief, Nes-wa-ma'k, invited all the tribes to 
fight against Asagulyaan; but the tribes decided to fight him by 
themselves, each on one day. They all agreed to do so. 

On the following day one tribe set out to fight him, and they were 
almost aU killed by the arrow of Asagulyaan. As far as the arrow 
went, everybody was killed, and few people escaped. Each tribe 
went to battle day by day, but they all failed. 

Now Wlludal told Ids nephews and his sons-in-law and also his 
grandsons and liis brothers-in-law to assemble in his own house, 
and gave them advice. He said, "My dear men, not one of you 
must join these jjeojile who fight Asagulyaan, else you will be 
destroyed with them; for Asagulyaan is a supernatural being; he 
is not a man. Therefore I tell you, don't go there! His arrow is 
alive, and will devour every one who comes up against him." 

The young men, however, would not believe what the old warrior 
had told them. On the following day they all went to battle as to 
an amusement, for some people had told them that Asagulyaan was 
like a bird running rapidly down on the beach. So they went with 
them; and while all the crowds of people were on the beach in front 
of his house, the shouting in the house, the beating of drums, and 
clapping of hands, began. Down ascended from the smoke hole, 
and then the young chief came up there surrounded by a mist of 
feathers. He ran down the long ladder right down to the beach, 
jumped over the rock, went down a little farther, and then he let go 
his arrow. He ran backward, as before, and jumped over the rock 
backward, cUmbed up his long ladder, and went down through the 
smoke hole. Then his arrow devoured as many people as it could. 

Now all Wlludal's relatives were killed; only one little grandson 
remained with him. Therefore Wiludal's sorrow was great, and he 
mourned for many days. He was the one who had taught Asagulyaan 
how to hold his weapons in battle. 

He said to his grandchild, "I will go and kill him because he has 
slain all my relatives." Then the strong man laughed at Mm, mock- 
ing him, and said, "Now this is the kind of man to kill Asagulyaan. 
Don't, you old bUnd man! Stay at home! You wiU only hinder 
the people who will fight with him." Nevertheless he said, "I shall 
surely shoot him." Yet they scorned liim. 


Now, when all the tribes were giving battle, Wiludal said to his 
grandson, who led him by the hand, "Put me behind the rock over 
which he always leaps, and point my arrow at the center of the 
smoke hole. Then, when you see the mist of feathers coming out of 
the smoke hole, teU me, 'Now shoot!' Then I wiU shoot him." So 
his grandson watched the smoke hole. After a little wliile they 
heard shouting and beating of drums. The mist of down rose, and 
then the grandson said, "Now shoot!" Then the old warrior used 
all his strength and shot. He turned to liis fellows, and said, "Ah, 
ah! I killed him. I hit his eye." 

Some of his fellows believed what he said, and others stUl mocked 

Wiludal hit Asagulyaan through the eye. The arrow came out 
at the back of Asagulyaan's head, and all his brains came out. He 
fell off from the top of the ladder which was placed from the inside 
up to the smoke hole — fell to the ground, and died right there. 
Therefore his sister took off her brother's dancing-garment and 
dancing-aprons, leggings, and rattle. The headdress was broken to 
pieces. Therefore they took a wolf hehnet of the prince, and she 
wore it. Then another shout went up. The mist of down rose 
again, and she came out through the smoke hole, ran down as quickly 
as her brother had done, with her brother's bow in her hand. The 
crowds did not know her. She leaped over the rock; and when she 
passed a little farther down, she let go her arrow. Then she ran, 
turning her face toward the house where she liad come from. She 
did not do as her brother had done, who ran backward when he 
turned, and kept his face on his enemies. 

On the way she became weary, and ran Hke a woman. Therefore 
the multitude knew that she was a woman; and they all shouted, 
and said, " Ha, a woman !" and all the people pressed on them and fell 
on them. A few children tried to run away, , but the multitude 
destroyed them. 

Tiie woman wore her brother's paraphernaha, and ran away from 
them around the island. She took off the prince's wolf's helmet and 
threw it away, and it became a rock, which may be seen up to this 
day; and her footsteps may still be seen on the rocks where she 
walked, up to this day. 

The people of this tribe are scattered among all the other tribes. 
They have not had a village since that day. The hve arrow, as soon 
as the woman let it go, went off howUng, and flew to its home, saying 
while it was flying, "Guldana!" Everybody saw it flpng swiftly 
through the air toward the sunset. It has never returned since that 
time. Wiludal was iu-st of all the warriors of the Tsimsliian, better 
than Asagulyaan, for he was very old, and nevertheless he hit 
Asagulyaan's eye. Therefore aU the people honor him up to this 
day. This story was kept by the Wolf Clan. 

doas] tsimshian myths 31 7 

53. The Prince and Prince Wolf' 

la the time of our forefathers, animals would sometimes have a 
woman or a man for wife or husband. 

There was a great prince, the son of a great cliief, who had his 
home in the old town of Metlakahtla, and three young men were 
chosen to be his friends. He had a beautiful wife, whom he loved 
very much. The prince was an expert hiniter. Almost every day 
throughout the year he went hunting with his tlu-ee friends. Some- 
times they would stay away a month and a half. Then he came 
home, and would stay two or three days in the vUlage. Then he 
would go out again. He went aU over the country and became rich. 
His father and his mother were very old, and his name spread all 
over the country, also aU the animals knew the fame of his name. 
He would always go about hunting, and liis wife always wore new 
sarments of marten skin and sea-otter sldn and skins of other ani- 
mals. She had notliing to do or to eat ( ?) at home, but she wore mce 
clotliing, and many jjrinces were well pleased to see her, but she 
loved her husband most. AU the princes tried in every way to seduce 
her; but they could not do so, for she was very proud and would not 
talk to any one. She always told her husband what the other princes 
said to her. She showed her husband a new garment that her 
mother-in-law had made for her. The prince loved her veiy much. 
Therefore she told liim aU she had in her heart. 

The young prince went out again, and he told his beloved wife 
how many days he would be away fi'om home. Then he went. 
As soon as he had gone, his wife took a walk with her girls around 
the lake behind the village to refresh herself; and while she was 
there with her maid, she said to her, "Go and pick cranberries for 
me! I will wait for you here." She had done so many times before. 

As soon as her maid had gone, a good-looking 3'oung man came to 
her, and she smiled when she saw hioi. Then the young man smiled 
at her also. He came to the place where she was sitting. Now the 
princess was very muc h in love with hun . Then the young man asked 
her, "May I sit by your side?" — "Yes, do sit down near me!" She 
pointed to the place by her side, and the young man went up to her. 
Then she embraced him, and the young man kissed her; and while 
they were there, the girl came back, her basket filled with cranberries. 
She saw her mistress embrace the good-looking young man, and said 
to her, "Here are the cranberries!" The princess repHed, "Just put 
them dowTi there and go and get some more ! " The maid went away; 
and while she was gone, she lay with the young man. After a while 
the maid came back to her, and said, " I have filled this basket twice. 
Let us go back before dark, lest some misfortune befall us'" 

1 Notes, pp. 759, 858. 

318 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Then they walked down with the young man. He wore a garment 
with cloven feet and an armor with eai's oi wild animals. Before 
they arrived at the village, the yomig man embracetl and kissed her 
twice, and she said, "Will you come to me tonight or some other 
time?" — "Yes," said the young man. "How long is j^our husband 
going to stay awaj'?" — "He will stay away for a month." — "Then 
I will come every night." Now they parted and went their ways. 

The same flight he came to her house, and he did so several nights. 
The jjrincess ordered her maid not to tell an}' one, and her maid 
promised that she would not tell any one. 

Now. the 3'oung prince was unlucky. He always missed when he 
shot, and he wanted to go back home. Therefore he went home; 
and before he reached the village he said to his three friends, "Let 
us wait here until night comes, for wo have no game!" So they 
camped at the end of the village, waiting until night came. About 
midnight they went secretly along the beach in front of his father's 
house. He said to his friends in the canoe, "I will go up to the 
house alone, and I \vill see what has happened to my wife." So he 
went alone. He pushed the door-flap aside gently and went to the 
bed of liis wife's maid. He woke her gently, and asked, " Did any one 
come to my wife while I was away ? Don't conceal it from mo! I will 
kill you if you don't tell me the truth! Now tell me!" 

Tlien the maid said, "Yes, master! As soon as you left, my mis- 
tress called me to take a walk around the lake, as we used to do many 
tunes when you were gone. I left my mistress and went to pick cran- 
berries. When I had filled my basket \vith berries, I went to the 
place where she was sitting, and I saw a young man, good-looking 
like you, who embraced her. She sent me to pick some more berries, 
and I went and filled another basket. Then when I came to her, I 
forced her to go home before dark. We went down, and before we 
went to our house the young man asked her to let him come the same 
night, and she agi'eed, and he has come every night until now." 

Then the prince went back to his friends in his canoe. He told 
his three friends, and they went secretly into the house to his mas- 
ter's wife's bedroom, and killed the man who was l.ying in his master's 
bed. They cut his head off, and in the morning they saw the garment 
of the one they had killed. It was covered with cleft feet of deer 
and cleft feet of mountain sheep, and his armor was covered with 
long ears of remdeer and long ears of red deer, and on his hat he had 
a wolf's tail. 

The prince kept the body of the young man, together with the 
head, in a box behind the house; and he took all the garments, the 
armor, and the hat for his crests. He was not angry witii his wife, 
and still loved her, because he received these costly crests through 



Thou the old chief called all his wise meu, and showed them these 
garments, the armor, and the hat. The wise men said, "The yoimg 
man who has-been Icilled is a prince of the Wolves;" and the wise 
men said, "Moreover, my dear prince, build a fort! Let all our 
young people build a strong fort, lest the cruel wolves come and 
devour our wives and children!" 

In the same night a cry was heard at one end of the village, "Oh, 
my child, my child, who ate the deer whole! Only give me your 
brother's adultery garment, that I need! Oh, my child, my child, 
who ate the deer whole ! Only give me your brother's garment, that 
I need!" 

All the people in the village did not sleep that night, for thej' heard 
the mother of the man that had been killed crying through the vil- 
lage. Before daybreak she ceased her wail, and all the people of the 
village, young and old, went out to get logs, and before evening they 
came home bringing the logs. In the night the wail came again at 
the other end of the village. "Oh, my child, my child, who ate the 
deer whole! Only give me your brother's garment, that I need! 
Oh, my child, my child, who ate the deer whole! Only give me your 
brother's garment, that I need!" Tlae mother of the slain one went 
around the village throughout the night, waUing, "Oh, my child, my 
child, who ate the deer whole! Only give me your brother's adultery 
garment, that I need ! Oh, my child, my child, who ate the deer whole ! 
Oidy give me your brother's garment, that I need!" Before day- 
light she left. 

Then all the people of the village began to build a fort. They made 
a tloublo wall around it. The women and children gathered stones 
in the fort, and they built a sidewalk over the top of the wall, and 
all the people moved into the fort. 

As soon as evening came, they heard wolves howluig in the woods 
behind the village, at one end of the village, and at the other end; 
and howlmg of wolves was heard on the other side. Then they came 
from all sides, nearer and nearer, and all the wolves stood around 
the double fort. Then the mother of Prince Wolf said, "Only give 
me your brother's garment of cleft feet, my dear, else we shall eat 
all of your people tonight!" 

The prince rephed, " I wUl not give you your son's garment, I 
will keep it myself!" and the mother said, "And where is my son's 
body? Give it to me!" The prince did not reply a word. She 
repeated, "Give me my son's body, or I will devour your people!" 

All the wolves began to gnaw at the walls of the fort; and when 
the &"st wall ahnost fell, then the people went upon the wall and tlirew 
stones down at the wolves, and many were killed. 

On the following morning all the wolves from every direction 
assembled, and the outer wall fell, but the second wall remained. 


Again the Mother Wolf said, "Give me my child's body!" The 
prince replied, "No, I will not give it to you; I will keep it in good 
order, because I made a mistake in killing him. Therefore I will 
keep his body, his cleft-foot garments, his long-ear armor, and his 
wolf-tail hat. I will keep them all and I will give a great feast; and 
I will take his name, because he is my brother." 

Then the Mother Wolf began to howl, and sang her own mourning- 
song. She sang the song of the cleft-foot garment, and the song of 
the long-ear armor, and the song of the wolf-tail hat. All the wolves 
were very quiet. 

After she had sung her song, she said, "You are my son. Today I 
will take you; and you shall take my brother's place, because he was 
a great prince among the animals, and all the animals of the wood 
honored him. They shall honor you also, and jou shall have your 
brother's place; and when I die, my words shall be accomplished." 

Then all the wolves made a great noise, and they ran home howling. 

Now the great prince gave a feast. He in^^ted all the tribes that 
hved in the channel of Metlakahtla; and when all the guests were in, 
the great prince had much property piled up. Then he came out 
from the inner room, wearing his brother's adultery garment of cleft 
feet. He sang a song, and he went back into the inner room. Then 
he came out agaui wearing the long-ear armor, and he put on his 
wolf-tail hat. Then they sang the armor song and the wolf-tail hat 
song; and after he had given away all his property to his guests, he 
took his new name, the name of the prince whom he had slain the 
other day. His name was Ate The Whole Deer. 

He was a very successful hunter m every way. The Wolf Mother 
always helped him when he was huntmg. 

One time after he had given many feasts, his father and his old 
mother died, and the prmce was lonely. In the evenmg the Wolf 
Mother came mto his house, and said, "I have come to take you to 
my house for a while." Then the prmce went with her; and when 
they arrived at her home, he saw many animals in the house. The 
Mother Wolf said to her attendant, "Go out and call all the wild 
animals! I will show them my adopted son." They went, and all 
the wild animals came in — panthers, grizzly bears, black bears, white 
bears, wolverenes, and many others; and when all the wild animals 
were in, she said to them, "I am glad that you have all come to my 
feast. I will show you my adopted son, who has taken my own 
son's place. You shall honor huu, and you sliall not hurt him, and 
I will give my brother my two daughters to be his wives.'' Then 
she fed her guests with all kinds of meat and all kinds of tallow, and 
she gave them all kmds of fresh salmon to eat, and so on. 

The prince loved the two ghls who had become his wives, and the 
two girls loved him. He had not been there many days before the 


Mother Wolf died; and he was very sorrj-, for he was alone among the 
animals. He always went hunting with his two wives, and obtained 
all kinds of animals, and his two wives were very strong. If he 
missed a shot, his two wives woukl run after the animal that he had 
missed and catch it . Therefore he was a great hunter, greater than 
the beasts of prey. Often he Mould give a great feast to the wUd 

Many years had gone by, and he was thinking of his own home. 
Tlierefore one day he said to his two wives, "I must go down and 
visit my home." His two wives went with him. Before they 
reached the village he said to his wives, "Stay here for a while, until 
I come back to take you down!" Then he went to the village alone; 
and when he arrived there, he went to his father's house. He 
entered, and the people did not know him, for he was very hairj\ 
He sat down at the end of the large fire, at the side toward the door. 

A great chief was sitting at the head of the large fire, with his 
wife. He said to his yoimg men, "Ask the man there where he 
comes from." Then the two j'oung men went to him and asked 
where he came from. He replied that he was the son of the great 
chief of that house. Therefore the new chief ordered him to come 
and sit with him at the head of the fire. He arose and sat down at 
the right-hand side of his cousm the new chief. Then the new chief 
sent his slaves throughout the village and called all the people. He 
embraced his cousin and wept with him; and when all the people 
were in, he said to them, old and young, "This is my cousin whom 
we lost manj' years ago and whom we thought to he dead, but he is 
still alive, so let us have a good time with hun tonight!" 

He said to his old people, "I will dance for my cousin the great 
prince." Then all the people had a great celebration. 

The prmce told the chief his cousin that his two wives were staying 
far behind the village. He said, "I will go up and bring them dowTi." 
Then he went with his other two younger cousins, and he took them 
down to the house. They were sittmg down at their husband's 
sides, and they were given all kinds of food to eat. Then the new 
chief gave each of them a costly garment. He gave the prince a 
dancmg-garment , a marten garment, and to the wife who was sitting 
on his right side a sea-otter garment, and to the one who was sitting 
on his left side a marten garment. Then they were all happy. 

Every morning, whUe the people were still asleep, the two wives 
would be awakened by the smell of something. Then they wakened 
their husband and told him that they smelled some animals near the 
village. They caught them and brought them home, and he invited 
the people almost every day to give them fresh meat. 

His cousin the new chief loved him very much, and all the people 
of the village loved him. One day he and his two wives went to 
50633°— 31 ETH— 16 21 

322 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. an.n. 31 

bring all their goods down to the new chief's house. They were 
gouig to have theii- home there. The young wives of the great prince 
had each two children at a time. He had many chilchen. The 
elder wife gave birth to six pairs of twins, and the other wife gave 
bu'th to tlu'ee pairs of twins, so that he had eighteen children in all. 
They were skillful hunters, the gu'ls also. 

Now the time for his end came, and he called all his children, and 
said to them, "If you return to your own home, do not hurt my 
people when you see them on the mountains; and if you marry some 
of these people, do not go back home!" The children promised that 
they would not return to then* own home; and the prince's days 
came to an end and he died. 

His eldest son was married to one of the daughters of another 
chief, and the rest of his children all married. The girls also maiTied 
some of the pruices. Only two of the children retm-ned to their own 
home. Therefore the wolves are afraid of human beings up to this 

54. The Ghost Who Fought with the Great Shaman' 

In olden times many different thmgs happened among the people. 
Some were good and others bad, and some were funny. And so it is 
with this story of the ghost and the great shaman. 

In a village on Nass River there was a chief who had an only son. 
When the boy had grown up to be a youth, ho had four friends who 
were of the same age as he. It was the custom of princes to choose 
some good and wise young men to be his friends; and so it was with 
this prince. Every day they went into the woods and built a small 
hut, to which they used to go every day. The prince pretended to 
be a shaman, and his four friends were his singers. They made a 
skin drum, and had a board on which to beat time; and so they went 
to their hut day by day. Theh parents did not know what they were 
domg. Soon after they had had their breakfast in the morning, they 
went to their little hut, and played there all day until evening. At 
dusk they came home. They did this day by day and month by 
month and year by year. 

Finally, when the prince was full grown, one day they went in 
another direction to bunt squirrels. Before evenmg they came 
home; and before they reached there, they passed hy the graveyard 
a little behmd the village, on the bank of a brook behind the town; 
and as they were passing by, they saw one of the coffins open. 

The young prmce said, "Shall I go into that open coffin there?" 
His friends asked him to desist; but he did not pay any attention to 
what they said, and jumped into the open coffin. He lay down in 
it; and as soon as he lay down there, he was dead. Then his four 
friends were very sorry. They stood arotmd the cofl&n, weeping. 

' Notes, p. 859. 


Before dark one of the young men went home, and tliree staid 
there. After a while another of the young men went home, and two 
staid there, .^ter a while still another one went home, and one, 
who loved the pi'uico most, still remained. 

When it was very dark, this young man feared that the ghosts 
would come and take liim. Therefore he ran down to his house; 
and all the young men, as soon as they reached then* home, forgot 
what had happened to them and to their prince in the gravej'^ard. 

Late at night the chief, the father of the prince, and his wife, 
inquu-ed for their only son. Then the ijrince's friends remembered 
what had happened as they were passing the graveyard, and how the 
prince had insisted on lying down in the open coffin. 

Therefore the chief ordered his gi-eat tribe to light their torches 
and to go to the graveyard on the same night. Therefore all the 
people lighted their torches of pitch wood and maple bark and torches 
made of olachen. They set out for the graveyard, and found the 
body of the prince lying in the open coffin. They took it away and 
carried it down to the chief's house. There were many people. They 
placed him on a wide board in front of the large lu'e in his father's 

The prince's heart was still beating. Therefore his father asked 
all the shamans from the other tribes to come. He told them what 
had happened to his son ; and he said that he wanted to have his only 
son come back to life, and that therefore he had called them all. 
Thus said the chief, and promised them a rich reward if they could 
restore his son to life. 

So they began to dance. Each of the shamans put his charms on 
the dead prince; and finally, when the various charms had been put 
on him, he came back to life. The shamans had been working over 
him for four days and four nights. Then each received his reward, 
as the chief had promised before. 

Now the prince had become a great shaman, because he was fiUed 
with the charms of the different shamans, and because he had pre- 
tended to be a shaman ever since his boyhood; and his four friends 
were his attendants, and always went before him. 

After a short time one of his father's people died — the head man 
of his father's tribe. Then the prince said to his father, "I will go 
and restore him to life." The father said, ''My son, can you do 

The prince put all the carved bones around his neck. He put on his 
crown of grizzly-bear claws and put on his dancing-apron, took h'ls 
rattle in his right hand and the white eagle tail in his left. He black- 
ened his face with charcoal, and strewed eagle down on his head. 
Then he went with his four attendants, and went to the house where 
the dead one was. AU the people of the village came to the house. 

324 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

In the evening the prince began his shaman's songs, and his attend- 
ants' songs followed. After the first song, he stood at the end of 
the large fire, and said, "Tliis man's soul is now in the viUage of the 
Ghosts, and my supernatural helper says that I shall take his soul 
back again to his body from the village of the Ghosts. Bring me a new 
cedar-bark mat, and let all the people in this house beat time on a 
plank, and thus help my attendants, and let them sing as loud as they 
can mitil I come back!" Then all the people did as he had wanted 
them to. 

Then ho put on the new cedar-bark mat and started in the dark of 
the night. Everybody in the house was singing. They beat the 
skin drum and beat the boards with sticks. Now the shaman prince 
wont to the graveyard; and when he had arrived there, he saw a 
quiet river, and the village of the Ghosts on the other side. There 
was a narrow bridge across the river. He went across, and ran as 
fast as he could, his supernatural power leading him toward the 
chief of the Ghosts. 

The shaman entered the chief Ghost's house, and there he saw the 
soul of the dead man sitting in the rear of the house. The chief of 
the Ghosts was sitting by his side, and all the Ghosts were assembled 
in the house to see the newcomer. The shaman went right in, and 
saw the soul of the one who had just died sitting there. Then the 
shaman prince took him by the shoulders, and said, ''I will take you 
back to your body;" and he went out of the house of the chief of the 

The prince came back to the house in which the dead body was 
while all the people were singing. He entered, and said that he had 
taken the soul of the dead man and brought it back again. He kept liis 
left hand closed, and rattled with the rattle which he held in liis right 
hand. He went around the fire four times, following the course of 
the sun. Then he went toward the body of the dead man, and put 
the soul of the dead body into it . As soon as the soul went into the 
body, the one who had been dead sat up. He had come back to life. 

Then all the people were astonished to see what the shaman prince 
had done. The news of the prince's success soon spread over the 
whole country. After some time another relative of his father died 
while the shaman prince was absent. When the prince came home, 
he saw that Ms father grieved. He asked him, "Wliat makes you 
so sorrowful, father?" and they informed him that one of his father's 
nieces had died thi-ee days before. 

So 'the prince ordered his people to assemble; and when all the 
people were in, the shaman prince went, as he had done before, and 
brought back the soul of his cousin from the town of the Ghosts. 
Then all the viUagei-s round about spread the fame of the shaman 
prmce, and of his abihty to bring back the souls of dead people from 


the town of the Ghosts. When any one died in some other village, 
they sent for him, and offered liim great reward if he should bring 
back the souls of the dead. 

He did this for a long time, and no one was dying in all the villages, 
because the great shaman was among the people. Therefore all the 
Ghost-town people hated the shaman prince, because no souls of the 
dead came to the Ghost town. Therefore their hatred of the prince 
increased greatly. 

Therefore they assembled and held a council, and determined to 
try to kUl the prince. They all agreed to cut off the ends of the 
bridge when the shaman prince should come again to get the soul of a 
dead one. As soon as the council of the Ghosts ended, they went and 
took the soul of a man. Two days later the man died. The shaman 
prince, however, knew that the Ghosts had held a council against 
him. His chief supernatural power had told him so; and his super- 
natural power had said to him, "Go and bring back the souls of your 
people. If you are afraid of the Ghosts' council, you shall surely 
die; but if you do as I order you, I will protect and guard you; but 
remember, if you disobey my orders, a dreadful punishment awaits 

Then the shaman prince assembled all his people, and ordered them 
to wait until he should come back, and to smg all his songs while he 
was away. Then all his people kept on smging. 

Now the shaman prince wont on his way until he arrived by the bank 
of the river that runs in front of the Ghosts' town. He went to the 
bridge, and his supernatural power carried him across. He went 
to the house of the chief of the Ghosts, who takes the souls of the dead 
first. All the souls of the dead go fii"st to the house of this great chief. 
Therefore the shaman prince went right to it. He went in and 
snatched the soul of the dead one from the cold hands of the cruel 
Ghosts. Then he ran out quickly, and the Ghosts pursued him over 
the bridge. 

He had almost arrived at this end of the bridge that had been cut 
by the Ghosts, when both his feet went dowm into the water of the 
river, but his body fell on the dry land. He arose again, and ran 
down as fast as he could; but before he reached his father's house, 
he fell down and began to groan. 

Now, the people in the house heard him groaning. They took 
then- torches, and, behold! the shaman prince was lying there. They 
took him in and placed him on a wide j^lank hi front of the fu-e. 

Then his supernatiu-al power came to him. The people in the 
house saw that part of his foot was badly scorched, and the hearts of 
all the people who were in the house failed them. As far as the water 
had reached on both of his feet when he fell at the end of the bridge 
of the Ghosts, his flesh was burned and scorched. The river was the 

326 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Boiling-Oil River. No one gets out of it who drops, into it. The 
shaman had fallen into it. 

His supernatural power said to him, "Arise, and run aroimd the 
fire, following the course of the sxm, four times. Then you will soon 
get better." His feet were very sore, but he tried to do what his 
supernatural power had told him. He ran around the fire once, and 
twice, and three times, and four times, and his feet were healed. 
Now, when his feet were healed from cheir burns, he had more power 
than before. 

He went often into the Ghost town and brought back the souls of 
the dead; and although men or women had been dead two, three, or 
four days, still the shaman prince went to the Ghost town and brought 
their souls back. 

Then the Ghosts hated him ver\' much. They held another 
coimcil, and wished to kill the shaman prince; yet they had no power, 
because the prince's supernatural helper told him what the Ghosts 
had planned in their council. The Ghost town became smaller 
and smaller, because not one soul of a dead person was coming into 
the town, for the shaman prince was always coming to the to^^^l, 
and often during the day some Ghost fell and di'opped into the 
burning river; and he died there, which is the second death, and he 
became a fisher; and every old Ghost dropped from the bridge and 
became a salmon. 

The chief qf the Ghosts hated the shaman prince very much. Now 
they held another council to entrap him, and they decided to let 
their chief pretend to be sick and to call the shaman prince. They 
all agreed to this. 

The following night two tall men came to the house of the chief, 
stood in the door, and called the shaman prince to discover what 
ailed the chief of the Ghosts. The prmce told the two messengers 
that he would go to examine him the followang night. The two 
messengers went; and the shaman invited all the people of his father's 
tribe into his house, and told them that the Ghosts were ready to 
fight with them. He said, "I shall go to see their chief, who pre- 
tends to be sick because they want to kill me. Therefore be you 
also ready for the battle agamst them tomorrow night. Let the 
people in every house gather urme mixed with poison, and nasty 
things mixed in, everything that is bad; and as soon as the evening 
comes, stand firm and throw the fluid behind your house, so that 
the Ghosts can not come down to take you away. Some of them 
win be killed by your mixture." Thus said the shaman prince to his 

Then all the people did what he had said; and when they had pre- 
pared the mixture on the following evening, the shaman was ready. 
He went to the Ghosts' towTi, into the house of the chief. Then he 


saw the great chief lying down in front of his large fire. He was 
groanuig when he saw the shaman prince coming to his house. 
Now the prince sat down at the foot of his bed, looking into the eyes 
of the chief who pretended to be sick. The chief ordered his attend- 
ants to brhig foi"ward his box, and so his attendants brought up the 
box containuig his rattles. 

Now we will go back to the people of the village. As soon as the 
prince left them, following the invitation of the Ghosts, aU the 
Ghosts went down to the prmce's people and shot them with their 
arrows, and all the men of the vUlage tlirew the fluid behind theu- 
houses. Then the Ghosts could not come right down to shoot them, 
because Ghosts are afraid of urine mixed with poison. The arrows 
of the Ghosts were dried nettles. 

The prince, who was m the house of the chief of the Ghosts, opened 
the box of rattles which they had given to him. He took out the first 
rattle, which was a skull, and the handle was a backbone. Next be 
took out the dancing-apron, which was set with bones of a skeleton, 
which hung all round the bottom like frhige. Tliird, he took out 
the crown, which was made of dead men's ribs. 

Now the prince took the dancing-apron; but before he put it on, 
he blew water from his mouth into the hollow of his right hand and 
rubbed it on his loins, then he put it on; and before he put on the 
crown of dead men's ribs, he blew water into the hollow of his right 
hand and rubbed it around his forehead. Then he put on the crown 
of ribs. Agam, before he took the skull rattle he blew water from 
his mouth into the hollow of his right hand and rubbed it over his 
arms. Now he was ready for M'ork. 

He heard a noise outside the house. The people were saying, 
"All our arrows have failed ! They have all come back to us ! " Now 
the prmce started; and his supernatm-al power said to him, "Run 
four times around the chief who pretends to be sick!" The shaman 
prince did what the supernatural power -said to him. After he had 
run about four times, his supernatural power said to him, "Now 
kick the gi-ound at the head of the chief who pretends to be sick!" 
He did what his supernatural power had told him; and as soon as he 
kicked the gromid, he jumped another way. At once the earth 
opened and swallowed up the chief of the Ghosts. The earth swal- 
lowed hun up, and this was his second death. The supernatural 
powers of the prmce took him and dropped him into the burning 
river which runs in front of the Ghost town. Then the shaman 
prince walked do^vn safely to his o%\ai village. 

Now he had still more power than he had before. He had double 
what he had before. 

(It was kno^vn among the people in those days that dead men were 
very dangerous to shamans.) 

328 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Now his fame spread all over the country, and all his companions 
staid with him wherever he went. He became very rich, for all 
the sick people whom he healed paid him. Every year he went 
ai'ound from place to place. 

Once he came into a village, and saw a crowd of people standing 
on the beach weeping, and everybody- looking very sad. He inquired 
of some one who stood near by, and the .young man told him that 
one of the princesses was dro\vned in a river. Then the shaman 
prince said, " If you will bring the body to me, I will cure her." 

This happened in the fall, when the river was flooded. This was 
the time when the young princess was drowned. They searched for 
her body, but in vain, and the father and mother whose only daughter 
she had been were very sad. They searched all the year round until 
the next spring, when they found the girl's skeleton caught by a 
branch at the bank of the river. The people took the bones up to the 
house of her father. 

Now the chief who had lost his only daughter sent for the shaman 
prince to cure her who had heen drowned the preceding fall. There- 
fore the shaman prince went there. He wore all the things that he 
had taken from the house of the Ghost chief. As soon as he came 
in, he saw a skeleton laid out on a mat. All his companions sat down, 
ready to sing. Then the shaman prince started a song; and while they 
were singing, the shaman prince's supernatural power said to him, 
"Sprinkle ashes over the skeleton four times, and it shall be trans- 
formed into flesh. After that take your eagle tail and fan her, then 
she shall come back to life." 

The shaman prince did what his supernatural power told him. 
While the song was proceeding, the shaman went to the fire and 
sprmkled the hot ashes over the skeleton of the princess. Then all 
the dust stuck to the bones and gathered on the skeleton. He did 
so four times, as his supernatural power had told him. Then the 
bare bones were covered with flesh alid skm, but there was no hfe 
in her. Therefore he took his eagle tail and fanned the body. Then 
she came back to life, and all the people were surprised to see her; 
and the chief, the father of the girl, paid him much property — slaves, 
costly coppers, canoes, and all kinds of goods. 

When all his fellow-shamans perceived that he was greater than 
all the others, they held a secret council, intending to entrap him; 
for he was a great power, and al^le to cure any kuid of disease and to 
revive the dead. Therefore his fellow-shamans agreed to invite him. 

On the foUowuig day they assembled in one of the shaman's houses 
and called the shaman prince. They were tryuig to kill him there. 
One of his supernatural powers was helping him, and warned him. 
He went across the river and entered the house of his enemies and 
sat down. When the food was ready, his supernatural power spoke 


to him, and said, "This is dried human flesh, nevertheless cat it." 
At midnight he felt sick. Then he called all his relatives, and said 
to them, "My relatives, I am going to die. After I have b.een dead 
for a year, I shall come back to life, provided one of j'ou will come 
and stand under my cofBn to catch me. If you should fail to do so, 
and if you should be afraid of me, none of 3'ou shall be left. Now, 
who will volunteer?" 

Then all his relatives were speechless. Finally one of his nephews 
replied, "I will catch you." Thus said his nephew at the end of the 
shaman prince's speech. 

He asked for his dancing-apron, and his crown, and his rattle, 
which he had taken from the house of the Ghost chief. He ran around 
the &e four times, following the course of the sun. At the end of 
the fourth time he asked for a coffin. They brought to him the square 
box. Then he went into it and died, wearing his apron, his crown, 
and rattle, which he had taken from the house of the Ghost chief. 

Now they placed the box on the branch of a large tree just behind 
the house. His companions watched the coffin night after night. 
At the end of one year those who were watching the coffin heard a 
great noise there. Then all the relatives of the shaman prince 
remembered the prince's last words before he died. Therefore they 
assembled under the coffin. It was open, and they saw the shaman 
prince in the form of a queer-looking ugly owl. They all fell to the 
gi'omid like dead, for they were much afraid. One of liis com- 
panions, who had always been with him from the tune when he fii'st 
became a shaman, tried to catch him, but the owl refused to let him 
do so. 

Wlien all his relatives had recovered, his nephew tried to catch him, 
as he had promised to do before his uncle's death. He went toward 
the large tree; but when he looked up, he fell back, bemg afraid. 

When the queer-looking ugly owl saw his nephew fall to the ground, 
and when he perceived that all his relatives were afraid of him, he 
spoke to them: "Not one of you will be left, nor one of the shamans 
that Idllcd me. I shall take you all to the village of the Ghosts, and 
also all the shamans that killed me. I will make them my slaves in 
my house in the Ghost town, for the Ghosts took me to be their chief 
in their town. Only my companions who have always been with me 
wherever I went while I was among them, and who desired to catch 
me while I was sittmg here, they shall succeed to all my supernatural 
powers. I will help them and look after them right along." 

After he had spoken these words, the queer-looldng ugly owl 
suddenl}' fell back into the box, and the cover of the box replaced 

330 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. 31 

On the following morning the people of the village went back to 
the burial-place, and a sti'ong young man climbed the tree. When 
he came to the coffin, he opened the box, and there was nothing in it; 
only the box was full of eagle down. After a wLile the enemies of 
the shaman prince died one at a time, and his own relatives also died 
one by one in the same way. Then the shaman prince had come to 
be a chief in the Ghost town. He was the head chief there; and while 
he was there, all the souls of the shamans who had tried to kill him 
came to the Ghost town. He punished them in the burnuig river 
that flows in front of the Ghost town. Ho cast their souls into it, 
and they died a second death. The second death of Ghosts is their 
transfer into cohoes salmon. 

Then the chief of the Ghosts guarded all his people, and all the 
souls of his relatives; but his four companions who had always been 
with him while he was alive among men became shamans in his place. 
They always went to the town of the Ghost chief, and they often 
talked to him, and the Ghost chief helped them whenever they 
wanted the souls of some one who had died or some beloved one; 
and the Ghost chief ordained that if a person had been dead for 
four days, then the shamans should have no power to put the soul 
back into the body. So these four shamans did what the Ghost chief 
told them to do, and the four shamans told the people what they had 
been told. 

Then the people iniderstood it, and the four men worked among 
the people as the Ghost chief wanted them to do. They worked 
many years. 

Once upon a time these four shamans went to the house of a great 
chief whose young, beautiful son had died, and the whole tribe were 
mourning over the dead prince. After four days they invited these 
four shamans in to brmg the soul of his dead son back. When the 
four shamans came into the house where the dead boy lay, they saw 
his beautiful body. They also saw how sad the parents were, and 
they told them that they would soon bring back the soul of the 
dead boy. 

However, the four days had passed. They went to the graveyard, 
as they were accustomed to do, and came to the Ghost town. The 
Ghosts met them on the way and smelled of them. They said, "You 
have a very bad smell." They went to the chief's house. The 
chief was very angry with them because they had broken his orders. 
Therefore he said, "You shall not return to your people; you shall 
stay with me, for you have broken my order." Therefore the four 
sorcerers never came back agam. They also stay in the Ghost town. 
Their bodies were found in the graveyard, and the people took them 
down and buried them. That is the end. 

boas] tsimshian myths 331 

55. Great Shaman ' 

In olden times there were in this country a gi-eat many shamans 
who wei'e Hke suj^ernatural beings among the people, and who, 
tlu'ough theu' magic, worked wonders among them. Everybody was 
afraid of theii" supernatural powers. They could heal the sick and 
punish those who did not believe in them. They would help those 
who paid them much, and kUl those who were against them. 

Now, there were thi-ee men in one tribe. They lived at K-lax-g"iIs 
River, on the south side of the Skeena River. They talked day by 
day of the power of the shamans and how they obtained their ]>ower 

One of these men said to liis friends, "I heai'd of a deep pit down 
on this side of Skeena River, where some people went down and 
obtamed their power from the supernatural bemg in the hole." 
Therefore they all decided one day to go down and see the pit. 

One day they took a canoe, and the three went aboard. They 
started from K-lax-g'Ils by canoe, and before dark they reached the 
deep pit. There they waited until the following day, and m the night 
they offered food to the supernatural being in the pit. Early the 
following day they all went up to where the great pit was. When 
they arrived there, they found a deep pit at the foot of a steep rock 
m a cave. They called the cave Cave Of Fear. Nobody except 
great shamans can enter it. 

Now, these men did not know what to do. Therefore one of them 
said, "Let us take a' cedar-bark rope, and we wUl climb down!" 
So they took a long cedar-bark line. They tied one man to the end 
of it, and two let him down gently. As they were letting him down, 
and when he was halfway down, the man who was tied to the end 
of the Ime shouted, "Haul me up again, haul me up agam, lest I die!" 

The two men who were standing at the mouth of the pit pulled as 
hard as they could ; and when the man came up agam, his body was 
red from the stuigs of msects, and he told them that when he was 
halfway down the pit a great swarm, of insects came and stung him. 

Then the second man tied a rope around his body, and they let 
hun down the pit. Wlien he was halfway dow^l, the swarm of 
buzzmg msects attacked him. They stung his body so that he cried 
out louder and louder, and those who were standing at the mouth 
of the pit hauled hun up again; and when he reached the surface, 
behold! his body was bleeding. 

Then the third man, the steei-sman of the canoe, tied the end of 
the cedar-bark line around his body. They let hun down gently, 
and he went right down to the bottom of the dark pit. He did not 
feel the stings of the insects. There was thick darkness down below, 
and he groped along the bottom. The line was stUl tied to his 

I Notes, p. 859. 

332 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. an.n. 31 

body. While he was groping about there, he heard a noise Hke the 
rollmg of thunder in the bottom of the great pit. It resounded 
again and again. Then a great door opened on the east side of the 
bottom of the pit, and, behold! a hairy young man stood there, who 
inquired of him why he had come to the pit. The man replied that 
he had come because they were in need of a great shaman. vSo the 
hairy man invited him in. The door which had opened looked like 
the sun shining through a window. The steersman went in there. 
Inside there were not many people, only a great chief sitting in front 
of a large fu'e. He wore his crown of grizzly-bear claws filled with 
eagle down. Two live rattles were on the ground on each side, and 
lie wore his dancing-apron. 

When the man came into the house, the chief did not look at liim. 
The man went in and sat down by the side of the great fu-e. No one 
spoke to him. After a while another door opened on the east side 
of the house, and a young shaman came in with his crown of grizzly- 
bear claws on his head, his apron tied around his waist, and a rattle 
in his right hand, an eagle tail in his left. Then the boards for 
beating time ran in through the door like serpents, and each laid 
itself on one side of the large fire. Then weasel batons ran along 
behind the boards. 

The young shaman began to sing liis own song; and as he shook 
his rattle, the weasel l)atons began to beat of tliemsclves, and a skin 
drum ran ahead and beat of itself. Then a great many shamans came 
out, and each took his own supernatural power out of his mouth, 
and put it into the mouth of the visitor. When they had all done 
so, the great chief who had been sitting by the fire stood up and 
stepped up to the man, put his hands on him, and rubbed his eyes 
four times. Then he went back to his place and sat down, and all 
the sliamans were gone. The man did not see where they had gone 
to, but they all vanished from his sight. 

Suddenly he was again in complete darkness, and he felt that the 
line was still tied around his body. He shook it, and shouted, and 
they pulled him up. Then the men went back to their own town ; and 
when they had gone halfway, the man in the bow of the canoe fell 
back in a famt, but the two others poled up the river. Before they 
arrived at home, the man in the middle of the canoe fell back in a 
faint, and the man in the stern poled the canoe up to their home. 

The two men who had fainted vomited blood as a sign that they 
had obtained supernatural power, and they became shamans. 
Only one of them had not obtained supernatiu'al jjower, and no dream 
had come to him. Pie was stiU waiting. After a long while these 
two men went about and healed the sick. 

Now, at the end of tlio summer the supernatural ])owers took the 
man away from home. Nobody knew where he had gone. At the 


end of four days he was found lying on the floor of his house, and 
around him terrible whistUng was heard. No one went near him. 
He was alone in his house singing and ready to work. 

Therefore he called all the people into his house> and he told them 
how he had entered the house of the supernatural jjower in the pit ; 
and he said, "They have given me great powers to do what nobody 
else can do. I will bring back to life the dead." The supernatural 
power had given him the name Only One. 

He did wonderful work among the people, healing them, reviving 
the dead; and his fame spread through all the villages round about, 
and many sick peojile were anxious to see him. 

Other shamans tried to kill him wath their powers, but he destroyed 
them all; and not many people died in his time, because the diseases 
were afraid of him. Every day he was called into another village by 
rich and poor, and he came to be very wealthy. Some shamans, 
however, were jealous of him because his supernatural power was 
stronger than tlieirs, so they sought how they might kill him. He 
did all his duty among the sick people, and those who were sick loved 

One day a canoe came in front of his house. It was sent by a 
chief in another village to call liim, for the chief's son was very sick. 
Only One's supernatural power told him that the prince was not sick, 
but that they wanted to kill him and his supernatural power. Then 
the great shaman called ail his attendants. They took a large 
canoe and went down the river; and when they arrived, all the people 
of the village went into the chief's house. Only One had on his crown 
of grizzly-bear claws and his apron; he had his live rattle in his right 
hand and the white eagle tail in his left. He put around his neck 
the ring set with bones representing various kinds of animals. He 
went up to the house with his attendants; and as soon as he came 
in, he stood over the sick one, and asked him, "How long have you 
been sick?" He replied, "Not many days." — "You pretended to 
be sick. Therefore from this time on you shall never be well again 
your whole life long. " The chief ordered his attendants to give them 
to eat. Therefore they spread the mats on one side of tlie large fire, 
and they served them with food. Then the chief ordered his attend- 
ants to bring water. They were to bring water from an old rotten 
canoe. The young men went; and before they came in. Only One's 
supernatural power told him that they were bringing water mixed 
with urine. When the young men came in, the chief asked them 
to give water to the shaman first. They did as' they were ordered; 
and when the shaman took up the bucket, he stood up and said to 
the young man who brought it to him, " Drink this water yourself or 
you will die right here. Go and drink your own urine!" Then this 

334 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [etii. ann. 31 

young man was very much ashamed, and he died right there. Then 
the shaman went back to his homo by canoe. 

They were not very tar from the village they had left when Only 
One said, " I will take that spring of water with me to my own house. " 
So they went ashore to where the spring of water was — the spring 
of the rotten old canoe. He carried it in liis grizzly-bear garment. 
He went down to his canoe, and the spring was dried up. He took it 
along up river. Before they arrived at their own town, they camped. 
He went up and opened his grizzly-bear gaiment and put the new 
spring there. It is stUl there. 

Not many da3^s passed before a large canoe came from another 
village, from G'it-qxa'la. Tiiey were sent by another shaman who was 
very sick. Only One went there with his attendants ; and wlien they 
arrived, the G'it-qxa'la men tried to Idll him; but tliey could not do 
it, for Only One's supernatural power foretold him what they were 
going to do to him. When they had gone up to the house of the slia- 
man who said that he was iU, he entered, and saw a man who was 
very sick. The sick person was very thin. He was almost only bones. 
Then Only One knew what made him sick, for one of liis supernatural 
powers had been placed in the bone of a corpse. Only One took it 
out from there, and the sick man's supernatural power recovered, 
and the sick shaman also revived. Therefore the sick shaman paid 
him well. 

Before Only One left the village, the cannibal dancer invited liim 
and all his attendants, and they cooked seal for them. They cut up 
the seal skin and blubber in a long hue from the foot to the head 
of the seal, and they cooked it; and tlu^ee cannibals took care of one 
box in wliich the seal was being cooked, but the box of which the 
three men took care contained the meat of dead people. They 
thought that when the great shaman should eat flesh of the dead 
people, he would also die, and all his supernatural power would flee 
from him. Before thej^ brought the boiled seal to them, Only One's 
supernatural power came to him and told him that tliey were ready 
to give liim the flesh of dead people. He said, "You shall eat it, and 
I-rtU help you and take it out of your left side; and after you have 
eaten it, give each of them a piece." 

Now they were ready. The three great men took a long pointed 
staff, and each had a piece of meat at the end of the staff. They 
placed this before Only One, and the great shaman opened Ids 
mouth and swallowed a piece at a time; and after he had eaten the 
three pieces, he stood up quickly, opened his left side, and rubbed it, 
and the end of the piece of meat of a corpse which he had eaten came 
out. He took the end and pulled it out. Then he went to the tlu-ee 
men who had each given him a piece. He stood before the first one. 


and said, " Now, great shaman, open your mouth and eat this ! ' ' The 
man opened liLs mouth and ate slowly. Oidy One pulled out the 
other piece and gave to the second man, saying, "Now, great shaman, 
eat this!" Then he puUed out the last piece and gave to the last one, 
and he said, "Now, great shaman, open your mouth and eat this meat 
of a corpse!" and after he had done so, the three men died right there. 
Then all the people were afraid of him. 

Only One's fame was spread over all the villages. Many years 
passed, and he was always wandering about doing his work. One 
winter while he was seated in his house, one of his supernatural 
powere came to him and foretold that three messengers would come 
in the evening from another chief, Bagus,' whose son had been sick 
for a long time. "There is not a shaman who can cure him. You 
shall go with them, and I shall be with you and help you, but do not 
leave your chamber- vessel. Take it along when you go; and as often 
as you feel that you are almost unconscious, take some of the urine 
in your mouth and blow it into the air above your head, until you 
arrive in the house of the cliief Bagus. " 

Late in the evening the great shaman called all his nephews, and asked 
them, "Who will go with me tonight when the messengers come to 
take me away from here?" One of the young men said, "I will go 
with you, uncle." When all the people of the village were asleep, 
about midnight, the messengers came in. Only One awoke when they 
came. They called him, and he went down with them. Only One saw 
a new canoe on the beach. They all went aboard, and Only One was 
ready. He wore his crown of gi-izzly-bear claws, and he held his live 
rattle in his right hand, and his root-basket chamber-vessel in his 
left. He also wore his apron. Then the three messengers said, "Lie 
down in the canoe ! " but he did not do so, because his supernatural power 
told liun to keep awake, lest he die, because these messengers were 
dangerous anunals. Before daylight they reached the front of Chief 
Bagus's town. While they were on then- way, and before they reached 
the town. Only One felt that he was losing consciousness. Then he 
took the urine out of the basket and blew it into the air, as his super- 
natural power had ordered hun, and his heart became strong again; 
but the three men put then- hands to theu' noses because they could 
not endure the smell. Twice these three men tried to make Only One 
unconscious, but on account of the smell they were in gi-eat fear of him. 
They were afraid they would die before they reached home. As soon 
as the canoe touched the shore, the shaman jumped ashore and walked 
up to the house of Chief Bagus, led by the three messengers. He 
entered there, and the sick prhice of Bagus lay there ; and an old shaman 
was seated by the foot of the prince, holding his rattle in his hand. 

> Ewakliitl, BekIus ("man of the woods"), a being supposed to take away hunters (seep. 476). 

336 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Oiily One stood by the sick prince's head, and he saw an arrow 
right between his ribs. Chief Bagus, sitting in the rear of his house, 
said to him, ''My dear Only One, I ask you to cure my sick son." 
Only One went toward the sick person, took the end of the broken 
arrow, and puUed it out, and he rubbed the wounded side of the 
prmce Bagus, and the prince was cured and arose. 

The great chief was glad to see that his son was cured. Only One 
wanted to go back home in the evening, and the chief promised to 
send him home in the night. Only One went to the old shaman and 
asked him how long he had been in there. He told him that Chief 
Bagus had invited liim when he was young, but that now he was very 
old, and that also part of his body had become stone, and that 
therefore he could not go back home. He told him that many 
shamans had tried to heal the prince, and that they had all failed, 
and that the chief had thi'own them into a lake of blood, and that 
they were still there. 

In the evening Only One went out with the Prince of Bagus; and 
the prince caught one child that was playing outside, and gave it to 
Only One to be his supernatural power. So he took it, and placed 
it in his long hair. He went down to the beach and boarded the same 
new canoe, and the same three men paddled away toward his home. 
As soon as the canoe touched the shore, the sun rose, and the canoe 
and the tliree men who took him home were transformed into a log of 
driftwood. Only One lived many years after this; and it is said that 
he never died, but that he was taken by the supernatural powers into 
theh- home in the deep pit. 

56. Story of the Ghost' 

Long ago there were many people in the various villages among the 
Indians. A large village of tliree rows was situated on G'its !Emga'16ii 
River, and a great many people were in that village, who shouted 
when the geese were flying over the village. When they shouted, 
the geese would fall down to the gi-ound and die. They were very 
healthy, and had a great chief and chieftamess, who had an only 
son, whom they loved much, and all the people of the village loved 
him much. The prince was called Brown Eagle. The only kind of 
food he ate was sahnon-dip ( ?), and everybody in the village knew that 
he only ate salmon-dip; therefore in summer everybody cut out the 
salmon-dips and sent them to the chief's son. They did this for 
many years, and eveiybody loved him tenderly. 

It came to pass, when this prince had grown up to bo a young man, 
that he became sick. He was very ill, and it was not many days 
before he died. Then all the people mourned for him. His father 

1 Notes, p. 860. 


and mother mourned very much for his sake. After four days had 
passed, they put his body in a coffin and placed it on the burial-place, 
and every morning his parents burned sahnon-dips on his grave.' 

After two or three months they buried him. The gi-eat chief called 
his ei'eat slave, and ordered hun to run out and tell his tribe to move 
away from the old village site; therefore the gi-eat slave ran out and 
shouted, and said, "Move away from the village site, people!" 
Therefore the people moved from theii- old home, for they were ordered 
to do so by the great chief, and they built then- new village. 

They had been there for two years, and still the parents of the 
prince were in deep sorrow. One day some young women assembled, 
and one middle-aged woman was with them. They were going to 
dig fern roots, and went up to the old village and camped near the 
burial-place; and while they dug for fern roots, they saw a large com- 
pany of young men, who had followed them, and who helped the 
women digging fern roots. Late in the evening the young women told 
the young men to dig holes and to throw in red-hot stones, on which 
they were going to cook the fern roots. Therefore the young men 
dug a large hole in the ground and burned many stones in it; and when 
the stones were red-hot, they took the ashes from among the hot 
stones, placed wet moss over them, and placed the fern roots on top 
in good order. Then they covered them over with more wet moss. 
They covered the hole with earth and ashes, which they piled up high. 
Then they built a large fii-e on top, and the young women prepared 
supper. Fkst they served ch-ied sahiaon with salmon-dips. 

Then the young men felt very happy; and one very foolish youth 
said, when he found a sahnon-dip, "Here! I found a salmon-dip, 
which was Brown Eagle's best food." Then they all shouted and 
laughed. "Here, here!" they said; and one of them said, "Let us 
see if he will not come from his gi-ave when we call him, and we will 
Uft tlie sahnon-dips and feed hun." Then all the young men agreed. 
One of them took up several salmon-dips, and said, "Brown Eagle, 
come down and eat these sahnon-dips, which were your best food while 
you lived in years gone by!" 

Then the middle-aged woman stopped them, and said, "Don't 
speak like that to the dead prince!" but all the young men repeated 
it. The young women were all afraid, but the young men lifted their 
voices and shouted, ''Come down, Brown Eagle, and eat your best 
food!" Again the middle-aged woman said, "Don't, don't! It is 
improper to mock the dead." 

1 In olden times it was the custom that when a prince or rich man, or a chieftainess or princess, or some- 
body who was dear to them, died, they cut the corpse and took out the bowels, stomach, heart, liver, and 
lungs; and when the body was empty, they put shredded red-cedar bark into it, and they kept the body 
for a long while. They burned the bowels, stomach, heart, liver, and lungs immediately after taking them 
out. Therefore they did this with the prince. — HENRT W. Tate. 

50633°— 31 ETH— 16 22 

338 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. a.,n. 31 

While they were laughing and joking and making merry around 
the large fire, the middlo-aged woman took her two grandcliildren 
and said to them, "Let us hide under the fallen tree yonder, lest 
misfortune come upon us if we stay with these foolish young people 
here!" so they crept away and hid under the fallen tree. 

Before they reached there, they heard a terrible noise proceedmg 
from the old burial-ground, and a dreadful mournmg voice, which 
said, "Let me have it!" Then the old woman took her two grand- 
childi'en, put them under the log, and spread her mats over them. 
She herseK went back to where the young people were. Then all the 
young men stopped their joyous singuig and shouting, and terror 
came into their hearts. The old woman said, "Xow, young men, 
call hun agam!" but they were all silent. 

Behold! the Ghost was coming — the skeleton of Brown Eagle — 
with arms stretched out in front, and saymg, "Let me have it!" His 
head was just the skull, with dark, empty eye-sockets. The young 
women were very much frightened, and the young men as well. Now 
some of them ran into the large fire, and were burned there ; and when 
the doleful sounds of the Ghost were coming nearer, the rest of the 
young people ran to and fro, feehng full of fear. They all tried to 
escape, but the Ghost took their breaths, and at last they all lay dead 
around their large fire. Only the old woman and her two grand- 
children were saved out of the many j'oung people. 

Early the next morning the old woman arose and went to where 
she had hidden her two grandcliildren. She called them, and went 
first to the large fire. There they saw many dead bodies lying 
aromid the fire. Many of them were scorched in the ashes. Then 
they went down to the new village and told the story to the people. 
Therefore the parents of all the young people went, and arrived at 
the place; and they saw the bodies of all the young people lying 
around the ashes, some of them scorched by the fire. So they all 
wept over them and carried them down to their new village. 

The wise men said to the parents of those who were dead, "Call 
all the shamans, and let us hear what they have to say!" So they 
called them all into the house where the dead bodies lay, and they 
put all the bodies in good order. Then all the people of the village 
came in. When the shamans were working with their supernatural 
powers, a new shaman said, "Let us have a great war with the Ghost, 
because the souls of these young people are livmg in the house of the 
chief of the Ghosts! Tonight all the Ghosts will assemble in their 
chief's house. Tlierefore let us go there before that time. If we do 
not get them tonight, then all our young people will be dead for good." 

Therefore all the shamans consented, and before dusk they put on 
their armor and took their weapons; and they went forth from the 


house where the dead were, tb go and fight with the Ghosts. They 
marched up to tlie biu'ial-ground very quietly, while the attendants 
kept on singuig in the house, beating the skin drums with their 

AVhen the shamans arrived at the burial-place, the new shaman 
said, "Now, my dear friends, two of you shall enter at each rear 
corner, and two at each front corner, of the house of the Ghost chief, 
and I wiM shout outside of the house. Then all the rest of our friends 
shall shake then- rattles, and the bones with supernatural power 
which hang around your necks." Then the four shamans in the 
house of the Ghosts shall shake theu" rattles and the bones on their 
neck-rings, and then all of us will enter; and when all the Ghosts run 
out, each of us will take the soul of one of the young people." 

After the new shaman had finished his speech, he walked around 
the grave four times, following the course of the sun. He was 
shoutmg louder and louder; and when the four shamans in the house 
of the Ghost heard the shouting outside, they began to shake their 
rattles and the bones on their neck-rings, and all the shamans who 
stood near the gi'ave shook theirs also; and when the Ghosts heard the 
noise of the bones around the shamans' necks and their rattles, they 
ran out of the house, but the souls of the young people remained inside 
the house of the chief of the Ghosts. Then all the shamans rushed 
ill, and each took the soul of one of these young men who had died 
the night before, and whoso bodies were scorched in the fire. Theii' 
souls were about to run out with the Ghosts, for they were really dead. 

Then the shamans went down to the house where the bodies of 
the young people were, while the attendants were singing and beating 
the skin drums. Then all the shamans came in and did their work. 
Then the new shaman said, "Now, friends, let us return the souls 
that we have to the bodies to which they belong!" and each shaman 
put the soul of a young person into his body, and the young people 
awoke, like persons who have been asleep. They went to then- 
homes, but they were not yet like living beings. Therefore their 
parents paid the shamans again to take off the ghostly quality from 
these young people. The shamans worked over them for four days, 
and then life came back to them. 

The people said, therefore, that no young people should go about 
alone, ^vdthout their parents. That is the end. 

57. The Man Who Bound Up His Wrinkles' 

There was a shaman who lived on a little island outside of Inver- 
ness, at the mouth of Skecna River. He had a little house on the 
little island; and he used to make arrows, which he sold among the 

' Notes, p. 860. 

340 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. anx. 31 

tribes. His arrows were very valuable because they were handsome 
and had pretty feathers. He was a very old man, and there were 
wi'tnkles all over his ugly face. He used to go into the chief's house, 
and sell his nicely feathered arrows. The old mail was known to 
all the chiefs and all the people, who bought his arrows. 

Some time in winter one of the head chief's daughters was missing, 
and they could not find her. Every year they missed one or two 
princesses in every village among the Tsimshian; and they did not 
know, where they had gone, although they would go and search for 
them among the tribes. 

Now, when all the princesses wore gone, the last princess went with 
her two maidens into the woods behind her father's house. Before 
they had gone very far, a good-looking young man came out of the 
woods and met the princess. His blond hair was tied at the back 
of his head. He smiled at her, and the princess looked at him and 
also smiled. He said to her kindly, "What are you going to do, and 
where are you going?" She replied with her gentle voice, and said, 
"I am just taking a walk." — "Shall I go with you?" said ho. She 
smiled, and said, "If you like, come." Then the young man walked 
by her side. He asked the princess to leave her two maidens behind, 
and to go with him farther on. Therefore the princess said to her 
two maidens, "Stay here a while until we go a little farther on!" 
Therefore the two maidens staid there, while they went on. 

They sat down, and the good-looking young man said, "Shall I 
take you to my father's house?" The princess said, "Yes, if you 
desire to do so." They went on their way, and came to the place 
where his canoe lay. It was a nice little canoe, and there were many 
good, warm garments in it. 

"Now, my dear," said the young man, "lie down hi the canoe, 
and I will paddle along until we reach my home. Then I will wake 
yi>u up." She did as he told her, and he paddled along until evening. 
There was a thick fog. Then the man called the princess, and she 
arose and saw the thick fog. She went ashore, and the young man 
guided her up to the house; and when she went in, she saw a nice 
little room full of all kinds of expensive garments, abalone ear- 
ruigs and everytliing that is costl}'. 

A little later the young man came in and said, "Lie down here, 
my dear! I will bring you to my father's house tomorrow! I must 
go back to my canoe and tie up the anchor-line." Then the princess 
made the bed ready and lay down. After a little while the young 
man came in. The prmcess put her hands around his head and 
pressed it toward herself. She loved hun very much. 

On the following morning they slept until veiy late. The princess 
had her right hand under his head around his neck. When she 
awoke from her deep sleep, she opened her eyes, and saw an ugly- 


looking old man on her right side. She rubbed her eyes. Then she 
recognized him as the wrinkled old man who always came into her 
father's house and sold him nice arrows. Then she began to cry. 

Finally the old man woke up. He saw her weepmg, and asked 
her, "Why are you so sad?" — "Oh," said the princess, "I was 
thinkuag of my poor father, who would be missmg me!" — "Don't 
cry so!" said the old man, looking at her with his ugly face. "You 
can go back there easih*. It is not very far. But lie here a little 
longer!" She was still crying, but he compelled her to lie do^vn with 
him. She obeyed because she was afraid of him, but her heart was 
full of sorrow on account of her doings. 

Not many days had passed when he said to her, "Go with me to 
that rock yonder! We will gather some nice feathers which I need 
for my arrows, and then I will take you back to your father's house." 

On the following day he took down his little canoe. The princess 
went aboard fii-st with her hand basket, which he had taken along. 
The old man paddled along toward the gi"assy rock; and when he 
reached there, ho said to her, "Go ashore on that grassy rock!" 
The princess arose and jumped out of the canoe. Then the old 
man pushed his canoe off from the grassy rock, and said, "Now, I 
leave you on that bare rock, and j'ou shall die there, you bad, common 
woman!" The princess screamed and asked him to take pity on her. 
She said, "My dear, don't leave me alone on this bare rock!" But 
the old man said, "No, I know that you hate me." The princess 
replied, "No, I love you ver}- much, my dear husband! Come, take 
me off from this bare rock! Take pity on me! You shall have 
my body. I will let you have my father's slaves or his costly coppers. 
I know you are a good shaman." 

The bad shaman, however, did not listen to the princess, but 
laughed at her and mocked her. He asked her to do various shame- 
ful things; and she did so, because she was afraid that he might leave 
her. In vain she did everj-tliing her husband wanted her to do. 
She cried very loud; and before the bad shaman left the grassy rock, 
he shouted to heaven. 

Then the princess ceased her crying in order to hear what the old 
man said. He shouted four times. Then he paddled away quickly 
from the bare rock 

The princess looked up, and she saw numerous birds coming down 
from above. She ran to and fro on the bare rock, crying. She went 
down to the beach, trjnng to find shelter. She found a small cave 
near the water and hid in there. Then all the bu'ds of beautiful 
feather remained sitting on the rock a short time and flew up again 
to heaven; and when the princess came out again from her hiding- 
place in the cave, she saw the beautiful feathers of the heavenly 


birds lying on tho rock. She gathered them all, and she also saw 
bare bones on the rock and hand l)askets. 

Now, the princess knew that this bad old man had killed all the 
princesses who had been lost year after year. She wept again, 
sitting there all alone. 

Four days passed, and early in the morning she saw a canoe coming 
down from the little island where the bad shaman lived. Therefore 
she hid in the rock on the beach, and she put some seaweed on her 
head. She heard the old man sing a canoc-song. He seemed very 
happy. He reached the place where the princess was in hiding on 
the beach, and tied his line fu'uily around the solid rock. Then he 
went to the top of the rock. 

The princess crept out of her hiding-place, went into the canoe, 
cut the line with her little woman's knife, and pushed the canoe off 
from the rock with all hor might. When the canoe was a little way 
off, the old ugly man looked back, and he saw his canoe on the water 
with the young princess in it. 

Then he said, "Is that you, my dear wife? I came to take you 
back to your father's house. Come ashore, and take me with you! 
Ever since I left you I have not been able to sleep. I have always 
been thinking of you, my dear wife! Do come ashore and take me!" 
The princess replied, " No, I will not take you, for you are fooling 
me, and you intended to kill me. Besides, I saw all the bare bones 
of the princesses on the bare rock. There you have killed them, you 
bad shaman ! I will give your flesh to the birds of the ah, and your 
bare bones shall lie on that rock!" Then the old man cried bitterly, 
and said, "Take pity on me, take pity on me, my good child! Come 
and take me with you! I won't deceive you." 

The princess m the canoe, however, said, "I will shout and call 
down all the birds of heaven and give them your flesh, as you did to 
my fellow-prmcesses on this bare rock!" and then she shouted as 
the old man had done. She shouted four times and paddled away 
from the rock. 

When she had gone some distaiice and looked back, she saw that 
the heavens were darkened by numerous birds. They went down 
to the rock where the old man was and devoured him there. 

She paddled away, and in the evening she arrived at her father's 
town. She went in and sat down by her mother's side. Her mother 
looked at her, and said, ''Is that you, my daughter ?"—" Yes, mother, 
I am still alive," said tho princess. "Where is my father?" — -"He 
was invited by some of his own people who wanted to comfort him, 
for he was in deep sorrow while you were gone." 

Then some one ran and told the great chief that his daughter had 
come home, and all rushed out and assembled in the chief's house, 


and the princess began to tell her story — what had happened to her, 
how she had been deceived by the old shaman. After she had told 
her story, she wept. 

Then she said to her father, ' ' Invite all the chiefs of all the tribes 
who lost their daughters." Then the father of the princess sent a 
messenger to all the tribes, and they all came in at the right time; 
and after the chief had given them to eat, he said, "The prmcess 
my daughter was lost a few days ago, and she came back last night. 
She shall tell you what has become of your lost children." — "They 
were all killed by the bad shaman who had his house on the little 
island outside of Sliding Mountam. He took me away from my two 
maidens and transformed hiiiLself into a handsome young man to 
deceive me. Wlien I first met Mm in the woods, he told me that he 
would take me to Ms father's house. I myself, as well as my two 
maidens, saw that liis hair was blond and tied at the back of his head. 
He was more beautiful than all the young men, and so I consented 
to let him take me with Mm. When we came to Ms canoe, I saw that 
it was full of costly garments, and he told me to lie down in it. I did 
so, and at midnight we arrived at Ms home. It was foggy when we 
went to Ms house. On the following morning, when I awoke from 
my sleep, I looked at his face, and saw that it was wrinkled. Then 
I recognized him, and knew that he had come from time to time to my 
father's house to sell Ms beautiful arrows. He told me his name was 
The Man Who Bound Up His Wrmkles At The Back Of HLs Head. 
After two or three days had passed, he said to me, 'I will take you to 
the grassy rock to comfort you, and you will see nice feathers there, 
and we shallfind beautiful abalone shells.' So he took me to the grassy 
rock; and when I left the canoe, he took Ms pole and pushed Ms 
canoe from the rock, and told me that he would leave me alone on 
that bare rock. I screamed and cried from fear, and asked Mm to 
take me to my father, and I did everything he wanted me to do on 
that rock. I pleaded with Mm in vain. He called me a common bad 
woman, and last of all he shouted to heaven after he had said that he 
would give my body to the birds of the air. Then he shouted four 
times, and, behold! all the birds descended to the rock to devour me; 
but I hid under a rock on the beach, and he paddled away vnih all 
Ms might. Then the whole rock was full of birds. Soon they went 
up again, and I walked about the rock. There I saw all the bare bones 
of human beings, and hand baskets by their sides ; and I wept much, 
for I knew that the bad man had killed all our lost princesses. After 
I had staid four days on the bare rock, I walked about on that rock, 
and saw a canoe coming down from the little island, and I saw that 
he was commg to gather the beautiful bird feathers. I Md on the 
beach and put seaweed over my head. He arrived right in front ot 
me, and was smgmg his merry canoe-song. He came ashore with the 

344 TSIMSniAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

canoe-line in his hands, and tied it firmly to the rock. When he has- 
tened to the top of the rock, I cut the line and pushed off the canoe 
from the rock. He looked at me, and said that he intended to come 
and take me home, but I paid no attention to what he said; and I 
shouted, as he had done. He was anxious to stop me, but I shouted 
four times, and I saw the birds of heaven descend to the rock when I 
paddled away from it." 

Thus said the prhacess, and all the chiefs wept. On the following 
morning all the tribes went with the prmcess to go to the grassy rock. 
Before they reached there, the prmcess asked them to let her father 
go first. He went ashore first; and after he had gathered beautiful 
feathers, all the other chiefs came ashore. They picked up their 
daughters' hand baskets, gathered their bare bones, and took them 
home. On that day there was great mourning on the island by the 
parents of those princesses who had been lost. They saw the bare 
bones of the bad shaman there, and every one who passed them threw 
stones at them. 

The father of the princess went to the little island and took from 
the house of The Man Who Bound Up His Wrinkles At The Back Of 
His Head all kinds of costly garments and all kinds of arrows and feath- 
ers, and abalone shells of all kinds ; and when they came home, the 
chief returned to his fellow-chiefs their children's garments, and he 
gave them ten beautiful feathers with each garment, and the princess 
was honored by all the tribes on that day. 

58. The Brothers Who Vistted the Sky' 

Thi'ee brothers went up the mountams to hunt. They lay down 
to sleep, and when they awoke they saw the stars above so near that 
they could touch them. They found that they were on a flat rock 
which had arisen high above the ground. They had nothing to cat 
and no water to drink. The eldest one spoke. ' ' What shall wo do ? 
Let us cut ropes from the skins of large mountain goats and climb down 
to the ground ! " But the youngest one replied, "No, let us wait! Per- 
haps he who took us up while we were asleep will take us back in our 
sleep." They followed his advice and lay down to sleep. Suddenly 
the youngest one heard a voice, saying, ' ' Take a round pebble and hold 
it in your mouth ! " It was the daughter of the Sun-who was spealdng 
thus. He followed her order; and when he awoke on the following 
morning, he saw his brothers Ipng there dead. In his dream he had 
seen that they left liim and tried to climb down to the ground. Since 
they had not prayed, they had perished in the attempt. Then the 
young man prayed to the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. Ho put his 
arrow into the crack of the rock, tied a rope to it, and climbed down. 
He got back safe. 

I Translated from Boas 1, p. 290— Notes, p. 861. 

boas] tsimshian myths 345 

59. Six Hunters ' 

Six men went out hunting. They kept their provisions in a small 
hut made of fir twigs. In the evening, when they came back, they 
founil that a squuTol had stolen them. The}' became angry, caught the 
squirrel, and threw it into the fire, so that its tail was burned. Then 
thcylay down to sleep. On the following morning they found them- 
selves, together mth their six dogs, in a deep pit, and unal)le to climb 
out of it. Since they were very hungry, they killed one of their dogs 
and thi"ew it into the fire to roast it. Suddenly they saw the dog alive 
on top of the pit. When the men saw this, five jumped into the fire. 
Only one, the son of a chief, waited patiently for his death. 

Suddenly he saw the others standing on the rim of the pit, and he 
asked them to go home and to request liis friends to help Mm out. 

In the evening he lay down to sleep. Suddenly he heard a voice, 
and saw a Mouse, who asked Mm to foUow her. He arose, and the 
Mouse led him into a house, in which he found an old woman, the 
Squin-el. She said, "It is fortunate that you did not jump into the 
fue, else you would be dead. All your companions are dead now. 
When you wake up in the morning, take the narrow trail that you ^^-ill 
see. Do not take the wide one." 

The following mormng, when he awoke, he found liimself in the 
forest, and saw the bones of Ms companions Ijnng on the ground. He 
took the narrow path, and arrived at home. When he told Ms adven- 
tures, the people became angry, and resolved to kill the squuTels. 
They caught all of them except one female, and killed them. Then 
the only surviving Squirrel wept, and cried, "After four daj^s your 
whole town shall be burned ! " and so it happened. Only the house of 
the young cMef was spared. 

60. The Land Otter ^ 

Wlien a person capsizes, the Land Otter people catch Mm, and he 
himself is transformed into a land otter. 

Once upon a time there was a man who claimed that even if he 
should capsize, he would never yield to the Land Ottei-s. One day 
when he was traveling with Ms sister Ms canoe capsized. He swam 
ashore, and saw a fire, wMch seemed to move away from him all the 
time. He did not follow it, but started a fire where he had gone 
ashore. While he was sitting there warming Ms back, he heard a 
canoe. He just turned around, and immediately looked back toward 
the woods. The canoe came ashore, but he did not move. The people 
came up to Ms fire. Immediately he got up, went down to the canoe, 
and tMew all the paddles into the fire. Immediately these were trans- 

' Translated from Boas 1, p. 304.— Notes, p. 861. 
2 Translated from Boas 1, p. 290.— Notes, p. 862. 

346 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

formed into minks, which cried pitifully. Tlie people disappeared, 
and their canoe took its true shape. It was an old log of driftwood. 
After a while the Land Otters made another attempt to get hold of 
, the man, but in vain. 

One evening, while he was seated by the fire, he heard the voice of a 
woman, saying, "My dear, don't be afraid! I am your friend. Here 
I have food for you. Trust mo!" Immediately a woman stopped 
up to him and gave hira fish and seaweed. Although he was very 
hungry, he did not eat. The voice called him by name, and promised 
to bring him food regularly, saying, "Don't look at mo, just look at 
the tlishes! " but he looked straight in her face, and shouted, "Eat it 
yourself, you Land Otter!" The woman continued to ask him to 
accept the food, but he did not yield. Every evening he heard her 
voice. One day it seemed to him that the voice was like that of liis 
sister who was drowned when his canoe was capsized. He questioned 
her, and she replied, "Yes, I am your sister's ghost." Then he thought, 
"I ought not to l)e afraid of my own sister," and accepted what she 
offered to him. The food did not do him any harm. Then he began 
to hunt seals, wliich he killed with liis club. Nevertheless ho contin- 
ued to be on his guard, for he was afraid of the Land Otters; and he 
made up his mind that if a canoe should arrive, he would first burn the 
paddles and knock a hole in the body of the canoe, in order to make 
sure that the visitors were not Land Otters. Finally, after he had 
been away for a whole month, a real canoe came and took him home. 
Thus he was saved. 

6L The Deluge^ 

At the end of our ancestors' time the people lived on Skeena River, 
as I have told in another story, in a place named Prairie Town; 
and most of the people were clever, good hunters, and brave war- 
riors. One day some hunters left their home and went toward 
the east. They came to a great lake named Lake Of The Begiiming. 
This was the lake of Skeena River. When the hunters reached there, 
'the waters of the great lake began to rise, and the lake overflowed. 
The waters ran down the Skeena River, and almost all the villages 
on the river were swept by the currents. The hunters looked on, 
and, behold! a great whale ^ rose to the surface of the lake. The 
water of the Lake Of The Beginning rose because the great whale 
came up. It had gills like a fish, and four fins in a row along the 
back, Uke the Bi\ of a killer whale which is near its spouting-holo. 
When the great whale went down, the waters subsided. 

The next year two brothers of the same village started and went 
to the Lake Of The Beginning to get supernatural power. The elder 

1 Notes, p. 862. * Haklula'q. 



one went out into the water; and when the water reached above his 
knees, he went down to the bott<ira of the great lake. Then the water 
rose again as before, and the great whale came out. The younger 
brother remained on the shore. He saw the waters rising higher and 
higher; and the Skeena River was flooded again, for the water of the 
great lake rose liigher than ever. 

As soon as the man had gone down, he saw a large house at the 
bottom of the lake. He entered; and no one was in there, but a 
large fire was burning in the middle of the house, and ho himself 
sat down on a mat which was spread by the side of the fire. After 
he had been sitting there for a wliile, the door opened suddenly, and, 
behold! a flash of lightning came in. This happened four times. 
Thunder was rolling four times. It was a terrible thunderclap. 
After it had thundered four times, it began to hail, and it was terrible 
hail. Soon after this a large Grizzly Bear came out from the carved 
screen in the middle of the rear of the house. The Grizzly Bear 
came toward the man who was seated on the mat by the large fire. 

The Grizzly Bear stood in front of him, and said, "Open my back!" 
Thus spoke the Grizzly Bear to the man. The man did so, and the 
Bear had become a carved box. Then the Thunderbu-d came from 
behind the carved screen. The Thunderbu-d came up to the man, and 
said to him, "Take me and put me into the box!" The man took it 
and put it into the grizzty-bear box, and the Thunderbu-d became a 
drum, and the lightnmg was his red ocher. Then Living Eyes came 
forth from behind the carved screen; and after a while, behold! 
a very large animal came in at the door, Avhich they call at this 
time Mouth At Each End. It came toward the man, stood in front 
of him, and said, "Take me and put me into the box!" A Cuttlefish 
also came, went toward the man, and said, "Take me and put me 
into the box!" The man took both of them and put them into the 
gi-izzly-bear box. At last the Living Eyes came in. It was the hail. 
It was a baton. It also went toward the man, and said, "Take me 
and put me into the box!" The man took it and put it into the 
carved box. Still no living person was to be seen in the house. 

Then he started for home; and the live Grizzly Bear said to him, 
"Your name shall be Mouth At Each End." 

The man came ashore with the Grizzly Bear walking by his side. 
The man had been in the depths of the Lake Of The Beginning 
quite a long while. 

His brother had been waiting for him since the water began to 
subside, after it had risen and overflowed the banks of Lake Of The 
Beginnmg. He had been waiting there for twenty days. He was 
hung:-y, and sat down at the foot of a large spruce tree and died of 
starvation. Then the martens came and ate him. They ate all the 

348 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ans. 31 

flesh of his body, and devoured it; and only his bare bones were left 
where he had been sitting. As soon as his brother, Mouth At Each 
End, came ashore from the lake, he looked, and, behold! his brother's 
skeleton was lying there at the foot of a large spruce tree. Then the 
brother who had just come from out of the water cried because he 
saw his brother's bare bones lying there. He went toward them and 
tried to restore him to life. He took up some earth and rubbed it 
with his hands over the bare bones of his brother, in order to restore 
the flesh. Soon the bare bones became covered with flesh again, but 
they had no skm. Therefore he took a small root to make smews, and 
Mouth At Each End danced around the body with his supernatural 
powers. Then he took up moss and rubbed it over the flesh, and it 
became skm. Thus he made him alive again; and he made his brother 
a shaman, and gave him the name Devoured By The Martens. 

Mouth At Each End caught the martens which had eaten his 
brother's flesh, and put the live martens into his brother, and he gave 
him a vessel of blood to be his supernatural power. They went 
home with the live Grizzly Bear, who walked down with them. As 
soon as they came to their house, Mouth At Each End was able to 
cure all kmds of diseases, and he was able to heal persons who had 
died suddenly. 

Then all the supernatural beings in the mountains heard that 
Mouth At Each End had a really great supernatural helper, and tried 
to kill him. Mouth At Each End, however, knew about it, and was 
ready to fight with them. As soon as one of the supernatural powers 
or a shaman came secretly to kill him, the shaman ^louth At Each 
End sent his supernatural helpers Mouth At Each End and Cuttlefish, 
who killed those who tried to murder their master; or, if a shaman 
came thi-ough the water, Mouth At Each End and Cuttlefish would 
go into the water and destroy him; or, if a shaman with his super- 
natural helpers came overland, the Grizzty Bear would fight him and 
destroy him; or, if a supernatural power came up flying thi-ough the 
air, Thunderbhd and Lightning with HaU would destroy him. 
Therefore the supernatural beings from all parts of the world could 
not kiU this shaman. Mouth At Each End. 

At last two great shamans came along in their canoe. We caU 
these hermaphrodites. Two of them were m one canoe. Then 
Mouth At Each End sent down Ms supernatural helpers. Mouth At 
Each End and Cuttlefish, and the two shamans sent up then- super- 
natural helper, which was Blood. Thus the supernatural helpers of 
Mouth At Each End were killed by the Blood; and both of them died. 
Mouth At Each End and Cuttlefish, and the shaman Mouth At Each 
End also died. 

Only his brother, Devoured By Martens, i-emahicd. He sent forth 
his own supernatural helpers, Blood and Martens, who killed the two 


shamans in the canoe; and he took his brother's grizzh'-bear box and 
the Thunderbii'd drum, Lightning, and HaO. 

His brother. Mouth At Each End, went home to the bottom of the 
hike, and Devoured Bj' Martens was left alone. He conquered all 
the supernatural powers all around. 

Many years had passed, and there was a great famine in the wmter. 
Then the people of Devoured By Martens came up to hun, and said, 
"You have really supernatural power. Try to get some provisions 
for us!" So this shaman lay down on one side of the fire, and asked 
his friends to cover him up with a cedar-bark mat, and he began his 
supernatural song: 

Wil q!ala-llal lia°n, wil q!ala-llal ha°n 

La ma°Wa naxno'xsut ndatlaJ q!ala-llam lia°nt.' 

Every living fish, every living fish, 

My supernatural power told me where every living fish is now. 

On the following day all liis relatives started. They went 
aboard their canoes and went down the river. They had long 
boards in their canoes, and tied four canoes together, putting 
the long boards aci'oss. The shaman lay down on these planks, 
wliich were painted red, and covered himself with a mat. These 
foin- canoes on which the shaman was IjTiig went down first, 
and many canoes followed. All along the way he repeated the 
same words, "Every Uving fish, every living fish," and the}' went 
down the river. The shaman said just this one phrase, "Every living 
fish, every livuig fish." He was teUhig his people where ever}' living 
fish was, pointing with his finger down river, until they came down to 
the mouth of Skeena River. Then the shaman said, "Way out at sea." 
They paddled along, and soon they came near Stephens Island, where 
there is a good place for camping on a sandy shore. The shaman 
said, "This is the place that my supernatural helper has pom ted out to 
me." They all camped on the sandy shore; and the shaman said to 
his people, "Go and bring down crooked branches of red and yellow 
cedar." His people went and fetched crooked branches. Moreover, 
the shaman said, "Make hooks out of them," and they did so. They 
obeyed the shaman. "Let the women make fishing-luies out of red- 
cedar bark," and the women made fishing-lines. They measured off 
sixty fathoms for each fishuig-Une. Moreover, he said to them, 
"Go, ye women, and brmg dowai thin spruce roots and split them!" 
They did as the shaman had said. Then the shaman also said to 
the men, "Go do^\^^ when the tide is very low. Then you will fuid 
a kind of fish under the rocks, with eight legs and a round head, with 

1 It is not quite certain from Mr. Tate's MS. whether these are the words sung, or a speech made by the 
shaman. It seems probable, however tliat the words are those of the song. — F. B. 

350 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

eyes on the neck. Bring it up and tie it to your wooden hooks for 
bait." The men did as the shaman had told them. After they had 
done so, the shaman told them to launch thek canoes to go out 
fisliing, so they went. The shaman was standing on the beach, and 
directed them. The shaman wore all the clothes of his supernatural 
helper. Devoured B}' Martens put on a bear skin for a garment. 
He had on his dancing-apron and his crown of bear claws. He 
painted his face red mixed with charcoal. He had a rattle in each 
hand, and eagle down scattered all over his body. Then the shaman 
said again, "Every li\dng fish, every livuig fish;" and his people 
had to repeat what he said, "Everj- living fish, every Hvmg fish!" 
The shaman repeated this thi-ee or four times. Then they (the 
people) went, and the shaman remained standing there on the beach, 
pointing in the du-ection toward which they were to go. He said, 
"Go a little farther to the 'open sea, and you will find them." They 
went on, and the shaman was still standing on the beach. Then he 
said, "Pull up your fishing-linos!" They hauled up then- lines, and 
all the hooks were full of halibut. The people were afraid of them 
because they were new to them. Finally a shaman told the people 
to take the haUbut into their canoes. They took them ashore and 
cooked them, and Devoured By Martens was the fu-st to eat of them. 
His supernatural helper told him that hahbut is good food. So the 
starving people obtained the hahbut. Now, they were all satisfied, 
for the}' had every living fish, as the supernatural power had told 
Devoured By Martens. This is the first time that the people of 
Skeena River reached the sea, and the fu'st time that they learned 
how to catch haUbut at the bottom of the sea. They built a new 
village there, and did not return up Skeena River. 
This is Devoured By Martens' dancing-song: 

1. Wola ha, a wila ha, o o, wila ha haa. 
Hiyu wila ha, o o, wila ha 

DEm tsal na-HExno'xsie ul sil-hahalai'de. 

2. Wi-tsamtil hH lax-ha', ye, lat fsiElEm-ga'ot 
WI-spA-UExno'x ts!Em-siM!a°, ya. 

1. My supernatural being will devour other shamans (?). 

2. There was great lightning in the air, when the great supernatural 

being took me into the Lake Of The Beginning. 

62. The Cannibal' 

(This is a gi"eat story of which the people were much afraid. They 
had four dances, which were very curious and important, — the Can- 
nibal, who ate dead persons; the Dog Eater, who ate live dogs; the 
Destroyers, who broke up houses, canoes, and boxes; and those who 

' Notes, p. 863. 



threw hot ashes over the heads of the people. They say that the 
gi-eat supernatural beings from the mountains took some one and 
taught him how to act.) 

There was a young prince ui a village of the G"it-q !a'°da whose name 
was Gather On The Water. One winter, when the time had come for 
his dance, his father called the companies of Cannibals to lot his son 
join them. Therefore one day these people took the young man, 
took him around the village, knocked at every house, and, after 
they had been to every house, all the men shouted, and said that 
this young man had gone up into the ah- or that the supernatural 
power had taken him away to his home in the mountains. They 
deceived many common people. These dancers were chiefs and 
prmcesses, and all the head men, old and young. 

They took this young man and placed him in the trunk of a large 
tree secretly. They put a long ladder against the tree and sent the 
young man up. He went up the tree and entered a small hut. 
Then they took the ladder away from the tree, mtendmg to come 
back at the end of ten days. 

The young man staid on the tree; and the fu'st night when he 
was there, some one came up to his hut, and asked liim, "What are 
you domg in there, young man?" He replied, "I am a dancer." 
Then the visitor laughed at him, and said, "That is not the way of 
your dance for the dancer to stay on a tree. Wait until I come 
again! I will show you the ways of a true dancer." So he went 
away. After he had been away a short time, he came back with a 
dead child; and he said to the young man who lived in the hut on 
the tree, "Now open your mouth and eat this dead child!" The 
young man was afraid. The person who held the dead child in his 
arms said again, "If you don't do it, I will eat you right here!" 
Therefore the yoimg man opened his mouth and swallowed the dead 
child's body whole. The supernatural being asked him, "Do you 
feel satisfied now?" The young man repUed, "No, I do not feel 
that I ate anything." — "Now come with me," said the supernatural 
being. They flew down to the village, and the supernatural being 
said to him, "Now shout and catch one of the people!" Then he 
shouted, "Hop, hop!" caught one of the young men, and ate him 
as a cat eats a mouse. Thus he did to the young men; and he acted 
hke the supernatural being, which was glad to see that he had eaten 
a whole man. Then they went back to the tree; and the super- 
natural being said to him, "Whenever you feel hungry, take a person 
and eat him in front of the village." Then the being went away. 

The people m the village always heard a terrible whistle on the 
tree behind the village, and everybody noticed that before he came 
down he shouted twice, and then he would fly down and kill some 
one in front of the village, and everybody was afraid of him. His 

352 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

fame spread all over the different villages, and all the Cannibals gath- 
ered and tried to kill him. 

All these companies of dancers gathered in one house; and they 
prepared a mixture of poisonous herbs, urine, and other bad things, 
and they began to sing. While they were singing, they heard a cry 
from the tree. Then they heard a noise on the roof of the house in 
which they were. He was coming right down into the house where 
they were assembled, and caught a person in the house. Then they 
threw the mixture over him and caught him. They were pouring the 
mixture into his mouth, and they made a heavy rmg of red-cedar 
bark mixed with white for him, and they gave him a large grizzly- 
bear skin to be his garment, and they put a red band of red-cedar 
bark on each leg, and rings of i-ed-cedar bark on each hand; and 
everybody was glad because they had tied him hand and foot. 

Wliile he was sleeping, a terrible whistling was heard in his hair, 
although there was nobody with him. They watched over hhn for 
four nights. Then they did not give him any more medicine, and 
they all went to sleep. Now the great Cannibal tlirew off all his 
cedar-bark ties around his neck, and the large grizzly-bear skin, and 
the cedar-bark bands that were on his feet and on his hands. Then 
he shouted and caught one of the men who was holding his foot- 
bands of red-cedar bark, and he ate him right there. Then he flew 
up to his house on the tree, and the noise of the whistles struck terror 
to those in the houses. 

He came down twice every day to catch people, and he ate them, 
and he went everywhere to devour people. 

Then the chief said, "Let all the people of the village move tomor- 
row!" On the following morning they moved, leaving the young 
■ man behind; and he flew to every place, caught people, and devoured 
them. Once he flew away, and alighted on a very high mountain 
on Nass River. Then he ran down, and saw a fish lying on a sandbar 
at low water. He started a little fire at the foot of a large tree, 
gathered some fuel, and roasted the fish by the fire. Then a super- 
natural bemg came to him, and asked him, "What are you doing 
here?" He replied, "I am roasting fish." The supernatural being 
said, "This fish is not fit for you to eat. Are you not ashamed of 
yourself? Is that the way of dancers? Fly away to yonder place 
on the large tree!" Then he flew back to his own place. 

He cont'mued to eat live people as well as the bodies of the dead, 
and all the villages were in great distress on account of him. 

They held a council in order to determine how to catch him. They 
made a large trap of wood; and in the night, after they had finished 
the trap, the companies of dancers assembled. They sang and beat 
time on their wooden drums, and beat with sticks on planks. He came 


down from the I'oof right mto the house, and the trap shut and he 
was caught there. Then they all went to him, caught him, and thi-ew 
the medicine over him, and they invited all the companies of their 
village and all the various companies assembled at the appomted 
time. They brought slaves to feed the dancers; and as they all came 
there, the dancer came forth and they gave slaves to him. He ate 
them all. Now his stomach was full of the flesh of many slaves, and 
he was satisfied. Then they put a large grizzly-bear skin on him, 
and a large ring of red-cedar bark on his neck and one on his head, 
and red-cedar bark rings on his hands and on his feet; and at the 
end of four days, in the morning, they beat a wooden di'um and beat 
their sticks on the planl^s with thundering noise to drive away his 
supernatural power; and he went out alone, walking down to the 
beach; and at low water he sat down on a large roimd rock, his face 
toward the village, and everybody came out to see him. Then the 
tide rose, and the rock on which he was seated was floating on the 
water; and when the tide went out, the rock grounded at the same 
place where it had been before. When the sun set, he walked up 
to the house where all the people were assembled. As soon as he 
came in, they all ran up to him. They took a heavy pole, threw him 
on the ground, and put his neck under the pole, trying to kill him; 
but the supernatural power came and helped him and delivered him 
from their hands. He escaped, and he would always come down to 
the village; but he did not take so many people as he had done 
before. He just killed some one, but did not eat him. Many years 
passed, and he still lived on the tree. After two genei'ations had 
passed, his voice ceased. That is the end. 

63. Origin of the C'axxibals ' 

Once upon a time there was a mountaui-goat hunter. Wliile he 
was hunting he met a white bear, wliich he ]iursued. Fmally he 
came near enough to shoot, and he hit it. The bear, however, ran on, 
and finally disappeared m a steep rock. After a short time a man 
came out of the mountain, approached the himter, and called him in. 
He followed, and found that there was a large house in the mountam. 
The person who had called him asked him to sit down on the right- 
hand side of the house. Then the hunter saw four companies of 
people in the house, and saw what they were domg. In one corner 
were the Me'°la; in the second corner, the No'lEm, who ate dogs; in 
a third corner, the Wi-halai'd, the Cannibals; and in the fourth one, 
the SEm-halai'd. The first group and the last group were very much 
afraid of the other two. The hunter staid in the house for three days, 
as he thought, but in reality he had been away for three years. Then 

1 Translated from Boas 1, p. 304.— Notes, p. 883. 
50(33°- 31 ETH— 16 23 

354 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. Ann. 31 

the supernatural being sent him back, and ordered him to imitate all 
that he had scon in the mountain. 

The White Bear took the himter back to his home, and put him 
down on the top of a tree. There the people saw him. He shd down 
the tree on his back, attacked a man, and devoured him. Then he 
attacked another one, tore him to pieces, and ate him; and thus he 
killed many people. Finally tbe tribe succeeded m overpowering 
him, and they cured him by means of medicine. Wlien he had quite 
recovered his senses, he taught them the dances of the four companies 
that he had seen in the mountain, and since that time the people have 
had the Cannibal dance and the Dog Eaters' dance. 

64. Stoky of the Wolf Clan' 

The Wolf Clan originated in Alaska. The Tahltan of the upper 
Stikine River had a great war. Two chiefs, Gus-xg"ain and Lagunus, 
were killed. Then their nephews and six brothers belonging to the 
Wolf Clan fled from their enemies. Two of them went across the 
mountains to Nass River, while four went down Stikine River by 

The four brothers who went down the river arrived at a place 
where a large glacier obstructed the valley, and where the river ran 
through under the ice. Then they sang a mourning-song and entered 
the ice cave expecting to be drowned. They passed through safely 
and went right down the river. Before evening tliey arrived at 
the mouth of the river, and saw the smoke of a village. They were 
afraid that the people might kill them : therefore they camped there, 
waiting for the night to come. The villagers, however, had watch- 
men stationed on the river, who had seen the canoe coming down: 
therefore they sent their warriors in two canoes to fight the four 
brothers. Those, however, spoke kindly to them, and they were 
invited into the chief's house. There tliey told the chief that they 
were fleeing from thcu- enemies; and wlien tliey said that they be- 
longed to the Wolf Clan and gave the names of their uncles, the 
chief of the Stikine said that he wanted to take that name: there- 
fore he gave a great feast and took the name Gus-xg'ain. 

Later on a war broke out among the Stikine people, and some of 
the TalJtan brothers fled to Tongass, wliere they settled.' 

After some time had elapsed, another war broke out, and one of 
them fled to the Tsimshian: therefore tliere are not many people of 
the Wolf Clan among the Tsimshian. 

The two brothers who liad crossed the mountains to Nass River 
found the people encamped above Portland Canal. The chief of the 

iThis story of the origin of the Wolf Clan was obtained after all the preceding matter was in type. 
It belongs to the group of stories 51-53 (pp. 297 et seq.). It is the last story written by Mr. Tate before 
his death.— Notes, p. 863. 


Nass tribe took them into his house and asked them where they came 
from and where they were going. The two brothers told him that 
they had fled because their two uncles had been slain. They told 
him, furthermore, that they belonged to the Wolf Clan. Then the 
Nass chief claimed them as his relatives. He made a great feast 
and took the name Gus-xg'ain. He took the two yoimg men to be 
his nephews. 

Supplement: Three War Tales 

(1) FIGHTS between THE GI-SPA-X-La'^TS AND THE G:T-Pzi">S 

In the great tales of the olden times some very sad things occurred, 
and some that were funny. 

There were two tribes — the G'i-spa-x-l^'°ts and the G'it-dzi'°s — and 
these tribes were very expert warriors. In olden times it was custom- 
ary for a great chief to take a princess from each tribe to be his wife. 
Some had as many as sixteen or eighteen wives. 

So it was with Chief Dzeba'sa. He had many wives. His first 
wife's name was Gan-dE-ma'xl, a princess of the G'i-spa-x-la'°ts; and 
his second wife was called Xdze°dz-yu-wa-xsa'ntk. She was a Git- 
dzi'°s princess. He had many other wives besides these, but the 
names of these two great women were perpetuated through all gener- 
ations. Gan-dE-ma'xl was seated at the right-hand side of Dzeba'sa; 
and the other one,' NdzeMz-yu-wa-xsa'ntk, was seated at his left-hand 
side; and many women were at the side of Gan-dE-ma'xl; and so it 
was with the other princess, NdzeMz-j-u-wa-xsa'ntk. 

The first wife of Chief Dzeba'sa had three children. Her eldest 
son's name was Hats !Eks-n!e'°x; the second son's name was Xbi-ye'lk; 
and her daughters' names were Nes-pdl'°ks, Wi-n!e'°x, Lu-xsmaks. 

The eldest son of Dzeba'sa's second wife was Gaina; her second 
son was Gagayam n!e'°x; her third son, Gauga'°l; and her youngest 
son, Wl-gwina'°t; and they had one daughter, whose names were 
BElham nle'^x (Abalone Fin), Wa-naga, and Dzl'ek. 

When these children were grown up to be men and women, the 
old chief Nes-balas of the G'i-spa-x-l&'°ts died; and the elder son of 
Dzeba'sa's first wife, Gan-dE-ma'xl, succeeded Ms great old grand- 
father, whose name was Nes-balas. Before he became the new chief 
of the G"i-spa-x-la'°ts, his father made him gi-eat among his fellow- 
chiefs as well as among all his brothers and sisters of his house. 
Therefore all the tribes of the Tsimshian honored him, and his name 
was famous all along the coast. Then when his own tribe took him, 
they held all kinds of dances and gave many feasts every year. He 
was greatly honored by the Tsimshian. He had many costly coppers, 
many slaves, and many large canoes from difl'erent tribes, expensive 
garments, dance-garments, garments made of sea otter, black fox, 

356 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

marten, and wolverene; and his wife had many kinds of provisions. 
His o\vn brother, Xbi-j-e'lk, still loved him. 

The eldest son of Dzeba'sa's second Avife succeeded to his uncle's 
name, T.xa-dzi'°kik; and before he went to his own tribe his father 
the great chief made dances in his honor, but two less than for his 
eldest son, because the great chief said that he was his second son. 
Therefore the young man was angry mth his father; so he left his 
father and went to his own tribe, who gladly received him. He 
mvited his own brave men to his house, and he said to them, "I want 
to let you know what is in my mind. I will slay Nes-balas because 
he is highly honored by all the Tsimshian tribes ; and my father the 
great chief also honors and loves him most. He called me his 
second son." 

Then all the people were silent; and one of the wise men said, 
"No, if you slay him, then aU the tribes wiU be against us, and our 
tribe will be destroyed in war," and all the brave men said the same. 
Nevertheless this young man was not friendly to his brother. There- 
fore he made a great feast, to which he invited all the Tsimshian 
tribes; and he said to all his guests that he would be the first to be 
called at every chief's great feast; and he gave away many costly 
coppers, slaves, canoes, elk skins, and all kinds of property. 

After he had given this great feast in midwinter, his great father 
made a gi-eater feast, and invited all the tribes, also the neighbors of 
the Tsimshian; and he gave away much property, expensive coppers, 
large canoes, slaves, elk skins, a great number of oil-boxes, pairs of 
abalone ear-ornaments, and a great many horn spoons ; and the great 
chief announced that his name shoidd be the first to be called in the 
chief's feasts; and he took one of his expensive coppers, and some 
one lifted Nes-balas, and they took the copper from him and placed 
it before him. 

Then his younger brother. Chief Txa-dzi'^kik, ran out duiing the 
feast, where all the chiefs of the Tsimshian and of the other tribes 
were assembled. These were the Gitlama't, Git-l§,'°p, and the 
BellabeUa tribes and others. \Then they had all received their 
presents from the great chief Dzeba'sa, every chief of the tribe was 
glad to have his valuable presents. 

• Only one chief, Txa-dzi'°kik, had run out full of wrath. His people 
took his canoe, and they went back to his own house. Now they 
were ready to fight with his elder brother. Therefore, w'hen all the 
tribes were returning to their own homes, Txa-dzi'°kik sent his two 
canoes full of warriors, and lay in wait at a little bay on the way; 
and while the other canoes were passing by, these two large canoes 
lay hiding in the little bay. After all the other canoes had passed, 
and they had waited for a long time, at last two large canoes loaded 
with all kinds of property came along slowly. The people were 


singing as they were coming along. At that time a chief would 
always be ready to put on his armor. The chief was seated on a box 
in the center of his large canoe, and he was looking all around; and 
as soon as he saw the two canoes coming toward them, Nes-balas 
took lip his bow and arrow. When he saw his brother standing in 
one of the large canoes, he asked him, "What do you mean that you 
are coming against me?" Txa-dzi'°kik answered, "I come against 
you in order to Idll you right here." — "For what reason ? " — "Because 
my father has honored you more than me, therefore I will slay you." 
As he was saving this, Nes-balas shot his arrow, and the arrow 
entered Txa-dzi'°kik's left eye, so that he fell back in his canoe ; and 
all Nes-balas's warriors cUd their best shooting the warriors of Txa- 
dzi'°kik. The people in one of the latter's large canoes were all 
killed, and many of his men were wounded. One of Nes-balas's fii-st 
wives was IdUed. Txa-dzl'°kik's men fled. 

This was the beginning of the war between these two brothers, the 
sons of one man. One year after the fight, on their way home, 
Txa-dzi'^ldk died, and liis younger brother, Gain^, succeeded him 
and took his name. 

He invited all the chiefs of all the tribes, and he made a great feast 
in order to make himself great; but the Tsimshian chiefs woidd not 
come to his gi-eat feast because he had not invited Nes-balas first. 
Therefore all the Tsimshian chiefs were not present at this great feast. 
This made him even more sad; for the chiefs of all the Tsimshian 
tribes loved Nes-balas more than him, because Nes-balas used to give 
great feasts and was very kind to aU his fellow-chiefs and to every- 
body. Therefore they loved him. They said that he was a real 
prince because he loved the poor and honored his fellow-chiefs. 
Every day some of the hunters of the Tsimshian tribes would bring 
him fresh meat, and in return the chief gave them valuable garments. 
He was also often invited by the chiefs of the various tribes. There- 
fore he was much favored in the eyes of all the people. 

One day a canoe arrived in front of Nes-balas's village vnth. a 
message from Txa-dzi'^ldk, who invited Nes-balas. The latter sent 
out one of his warriors to say that he would not go to their master's 
feast unless he would send to every Tsimshian tribe and strew 
feathere on every chief's head. Therefore Txa-dzi'°kik's men went 
and told their master what Chief Nes-balas had said. They went 
back and told him what his elder brother had said. Then Txa- 
dzi'°kik said that he would kUl him. So they set out secretly at 
night to ambush him. At midnight they arrived at the village. 

' The same night hunters who had been out in two canoes were in 
Nes-balas's house; and late at night, wliile those who were waiting to 
kill the chief were at the foot of the ladder leading up to the chief's 

358 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

house, the hunters caught them. They took hold of the young man, 
Chief Txa-dzi'°kik. They asked the new chief what ho was doing 
there, and he told them that he intended to slay the great Nes-balas. 
Therefore they took him into the house of their chief, and they told 
Nes-balas what he had said. Then the great chief told them to take 
the men outside and to bring in their heads. The hunters obeyed. 
They slew them outside and brought in their heads. Then they put 
each body on a pole, and hung their heads in the smoke hole. They 
took their canoe and put it up stern downward. 

Then all the tribes learned that the men who sought the life of the 
great chief Nes-balas had been killed, and war broke out between 
them. The G"i-spa-x-l^'°ts Mlled the three brothers, Gagayam n !e'°x, 
Gaina', and Gauga'°l. Only one boy remained alive. His name was 

At this time the great chief Dzeba'sa had died in his old age, and 
Gan-dE-ma'xl also died, and Dzeba'sa's nephew succeeded to his 
place. Nes-balas's sister took her mother's name, Gan-dE-ma'xl, 
and the youngest brother or the three princes that were slain suc- 
ceeded Txa-dzl'°kik. 

Then Chief Nes-balas made a great feast for the chiefs of all the 
Tsimshian tribes, and announced that his sister would take her 
mother's name. 

She was a great dancer, and had a new song. These are the words 
of her song: 

Good weather ia following a hard frost, heavy rains and storms. 

This meant that they would not have any more fighting between 
the brothers; and they invited all the noble women; and the mother 
of the three brothers who had been killed was present at the feast. 
She heard the words of the song, and took a little comfort because she 
knew now that her last son wotdd not be slain. 

After some time the young chief went with four companions in his 
canoe to hunt ducks around the Island of Metlakahtla. This young 
man was Txa-dzi'°kik. He intended to HU Nes-balas; but he could 
not do it, because Nes-balas had many friends who watched over 
him and protected him. The boy's heart was not right toward him. 

After a while Nes-balas became sick, and it was not many days 
before he died. Then all the Tsimshian tribes lamented, but the 
tribe of Txa-dzl'''kik was happy. Their young chief invited the 
young men to have a game in his house every night, and they had a 
good time, shouting and laughing because the great chief Nes-balas 
had died. Many days had passed after the mourning of the tribes. 
The younger brother of Nes-balas, Xbi-ye'lk, succeeded to his place. 
He also took the name Nes-balas, gave a great feast, and invited 
all the chiefs of every tribe. 


Before all the chiefs had come to his feast, some one told the 
new chief Nes-balas that Txa-dzr°ldk's tribe were making merry 
in his house, and that they were full of joy every night, and that 
they mocked the great chief Nes-balas; and all the wise men of 
Nes-balas assembled, and decided to loll the young chief while they 
were feasting. Others, however, said that they would kill him after 
the feast, in order to avoid an uproar if this should be done while 
all the people were assembled at the feast. Therefore they waited 
until the feast was over. 

The new chief Nes-balas was kind, like his elder brother, and 
soon all the chiefs were very friendly toward him. The day after 
the feast, when all the chiefs had gone home, a large canoe was seen 
passing through the Straits of Metlakahtla. The people in the canoe 
were singing, and stopped in front of Nes-balas's village in order to 
invite him to Txa-dzi'°kik's house. Then the whole tribe of the 
O'l-spa-x-la'^ts went. Txa-dzi'°kik mocked the new chief when he 
was coming to the feast. 

After this feast to Nes-balas and his people, the chief Gul-qa'q of 
the G"it!anda' invited Txa-dzl'°kik and also Nes-balas to his house. 
Nes-balas came as soon as he could, and they waited a long while. 
Then Nes-balas said to his nephew, "I will go home," and they 
went out just when Txa-dzi'°kik's canoe was coming. Nes-balas's 
people were going back, and they met near Ghost Island (Lax-ha-l!i- 
t!a' bEba'lx); and Txa-dzl'°kik's men said to Nes-balas, "Did you 
come against us, you coward chief?" and not a word was said by 
Nes-balas's men. They went away laiighing. Then Nes-balas's 
warriors took six canoes and went back the same night to lie in 
wait for Txa-dzi'°kik near Ghost Island. When it was nearly mid- 
night and the moon was shining, a canoe-song was heard proceeding 
from the village of Gul-qa'q, and some words in their song were 
"coward chief;" and as they passed the place where the Gi-spa-x-la'°ts 
were waiting. Chief Txa-dzi'°kik being seated on a large box in his 
canoe, one of Nes-balas's warriors shot him through the temple, and he 
fell back into the water. Then the six canoes pursued them on the 
way back to theii- home. Nes-balas's men cut off the head of Txa- 
dzl'°kik, and they hung his body on a tree. 

On the following morning a great number of canoes of Txa-dzi'°kik's 
tribe came to make war, because their master's head was in Nes-balas's 
house; and there was a great battle on that day between the tribes 
of these two brothers, and Txa-dzl'°kik's people were driven to flight 
that day. There was a great slaughter of Txa-dzi'°kik's men. 

Txa-dzi'°kik's old mother was weeping, walking along the street; 
and she said, "My son, my only son left to me, made a mistake, 
for they said in theii- song that good weather would follow the dark 


storm-clouds;" and as she was weeping bitterly, she died of a broken 
heart, because her three sons had been slain, and her last son's head 
was in the house of Nes-balas. 

Many years passed, and the two chiefs stUl hated each other. 
Many chiefs who had these two names did the same; but I do not 
want to talk too long. I wUl make it short. Now, this will be the last 
dreadful war. 

The new Dzeba'sa had five sons and three daughters. The 
eldest son was Hats !Eks-n !e'°x ; the second, Wowo'lk; the third, 
BElha'; the fourth, Xbi-ye'lk; the fifth, Hais. The girls' names were 
as follows: the eldest was Maxs; the second, Wi-n!e'°x; the third, 
Pda'lEm ha'yStsk. These princes and princesses were honored by all 
the tribes of the Tsimshian. 

There were other princes and a princess, the children of Chief 
Sa°ks^ and of his wife Ndze°dz-ha'utk, the sister of Ndze°dz-yxi-wa- 
xsa'ntk. She had three sons and one daughter. The name of her 
eldest son was Haimas ; the second, Wi-ha'°; the third, Wl-gwina'°t; 
and the name of her daughter was Dzagam-txa-n!e'°x. They were 
of the same rank as Dzeba'sa's children, and Hats!Eks-n!e'°x suc- 
ceeded to Nes-balas; and Haimas succeeded Txa-dzl'°kik, but he did 
not take his name, because his head was in the house of another clan. 
Therefore his father gave him the name Haimas. 

He assembled all the members of the Raven Clan from all the 
Tsimshian tribes while his father the great chief Sa'°ks was still alive, 
and they settled on the island Lax-gaya'un, and they gave the name 
Wuts lEna'luk to the new village which was given to him by lus 

There are many wonderful stories about this chief Haimas, but I 
will make it short. All the people of Wuts !En-a'luk were very 
brave — men, women, and children — for their chiefs were very brave 
men; so they taught their people to be brave, as they themselves 
were. So it was with Nes-balas and all his brothers. His people 
were also brave, and they continued to hate one another. Haimas 
tried to beat Nes-balas in every way and to be above him; but he 
could not succeed, because Nes-balas was very kind to all the Tsim- 
shian tribes, and they loved him much. Nes-balas had manyslaves, — 
men, women, and children, — costly coppers, and elk skins, and aU 
kinds of expensive garments. He had many wdves. He had also 
many brave warriors. 

Haimas was married to a young woman, the elder daughter of 
Nes-y!aga-ne't, the niece of Nes-balas; and the elder daughter of 
M§,xs, the sister of Nes-balas. Haimas loved this princess, his wife, 
very much, but he continued to hate his wife's uncle. Haimas had 
many slaves, — men, women, and cluldren, — expensive coppers, large 

' A G'ispawadwE'da. . 


canoes, and many expensive garments, and also expensive thinp. 
He liad n^any large boxes full of war-knives uith handles inlaid with 
abalone shell and handles carved with crests ; and he always went to the 
Tlingit country to make war, and he took many captives and destroyed 
a great amount of property of cUfferent tribes all aroimd the Tsim- 
sliians. His fame was spread all over the country round about; and 
his heart was proud, because he always vanquished all his enemies. 

Yet he clung to liis purpose to take revenge on the enemy of his 
dead relatives. 

One time, when the people were ready to move to Nass River, 
Nes-balas moved first, according to their old custom. He had two 
large canoes loaded wth all kinds of provisions, and many men 
slaves. The great chief took a good-sized canoe. Four warriors 
accompanied him, and six slaves paddled. They camped at a cer- 
tain camping-ground, and buUt a special house for the chief's camp. 
They put up his large beam which they carried in the large canoe, put 
boards against it, and covered them with red-cedar bark. After the 
house was finished, he invited the chiefs, and they came to his camp. 

Haimas and all the people camped a little behind Nes-balas's camp; 
and the latter sent a message to him to invite him and all his people. 
They came as soon as possible; and when they were all in, Haimas 
looked around, and noticed how large the beam of Nes-balas's camp 
was, and ho was envious when he saw it. 

After tills they went up to Nass River. Haimas's canoe was faster 
than Nes-balas's canoe, and he camped first at K-numa's. His 
men put up his camping-hut; and when Nes-balas arrived, Haimas 
sent his meii to invite him as well as all the other tribes. Nes-balas 
looked around in Haimas's house, and he saw that the beam was 
tliicker than his own beam. After Haimas had danced his welcome 
dance, the food was served; and Nes-balas's slaves buUt their mas- 
ter's camping-hut, and Nes-balas's beam was longer than Haimas's. 

On the following morning Haimas moved, for he was ashamed 
because his beam was shorter than Nes-balas's beam. Nes-balas 
moved on the same day. His men took down the long beam and put 
it on top of the load in the canoe. Haimas took down his beam and 
put it on top of the load in his large canoe; and as soon as they 
started out to sea, the heavy timber rolled down on one side of the 
canoe, and the canoe capsized, and Chief Haimas's wives were almost 
drowned. Then Haimas was much ashamed because Nes-balas had 
seen how Ms canoe was capsized by his own beam. 

Nes-balas next camped at K-wams. There he had his men cut 
down a thick tall young spruce tree to buUd his camping-house. 
They put on the boards and the bark roof, and on the following 
morning he moved. He left his new green spruce beam. Soon 
Chief Haimas arrived at the same place. They took his boards up 

362 TSIMSHIAK MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

first and tried to put them across the place, but they were entu-ely 
too short. 

Then he thought that he woiild kill Nes-balas during the fishing- 
season; and when all the people had arrived at Nass Kivcr, and 
while during the fishing-season they were using their fish rakes 
to catch fish, Haimas's sister, Dzagam-txa-n!e'°x, was very ill. 
She was a beautiful woman, and one of the Tlingit chiefs had married 
her. She had left him because he had many wives, and they had 
bewitched her. Therefore her digestion was disturbed. Therefore 
Haimas put her alone in one place. In the night four men who had 
been out in a canoe came secretly and looked through a knot-hole; 
and they saw that Dzagam-txa-n!e'°x's bowels were disturbed, and 
the young men were laughing. They went away secretly in their 
canoe, went among those who were raking in fish; and while they 
were there one of them said, "Oh, Dzagam-txa-n!e'°x's bowels are 
disturbed!" So all those who were raking fish shouted, "Oh 
Dzagam-txa-n!e'°x's bowels are chsturbed!" 

Then the proud chief was very much ashamed. He wanted to 
find out who had started to mock his sister, Dzagam-txa-n!e'°x. 
They said that Nes-balas"s people had done so. Therefore he invited 
his whole tribe — men, women, aiad children. He made a very large 
fire; and he said to his attendants, "Dress my sister nicely. Take 
my best dancmg-blanket and my costly headdress set with abalone 
shells!" and all his attendants did what he had said. Then he said, 
"Now take one of my good wide boards and let her sit on it!" and 
his attendants did as he had asked them to do. They took the plank 
on which the princess was sitting, and burned her ahve m the large 
fire. Then he said, "Nobody shall weep for her." And when the 
prmcess was consumed, he spat into the fire, and said, "As I destroyed 
my poor sister, thus I will destroy Nes-balas and all his warriors and 
all his brothers." Then all his people agreed. 

On the followuig day they dug a long wide deep ditch inside the 
door of his house, right across it; and when they had finished the 
ditch, they sent a messenger to Nes-balas and to his warriors and all 
the pruices. Before it was dark, in the evening, Nes-balas came with 
all his people and his brothers and the princes of his tribe. They 
arrived in front of Haimas's large square house; and before they came 
ashore, the people of Wuts!En-a'luk went forth and had a dance on 
the seashore. Each of the warriors of the WutslEu-a'luk had a war- 
knife in his right hand. After they had danced a while, they called 
them ashore; and the brother-ui-law of Nes-wa-ma'k, the second chief 
of the G*i-spa-x-la'°ts, came down and called this man to his own 
house, in order to j)rotect him agamst harm. 

The people in the house were smgmg, beatmg drums, blowing 
whistles, and there was an uproar in the chief's house. Two grizzly- 


bear skiiis wei'e hung up at the door — one outside, and the other one 
mside. Two of Haunas's warrioi-s stood outside of the door, and 
two others mside. The two men outside would hit the grizzly-bear 
skin, and those who stood inside had each a war-club in his hand ; and 
wlien the great chief Nes-balas came in first, these two men who lifted 
the grizzly-bear skin outside shouted, "Now the great chief goes in!" 
Then, as he went in, they dropped the grizzly-bear skin behind him, 
and those who stood inside lifted the other skui which was hung up 
inside; and as the great chief's head passed through the door, they 
clubbed him, killed him, and threw his body into the deep ditch 
which they had j^repared. This was done to all the princes and 
warriors; and when the ditch was full of dead bodies of Nes-balas 
and his princes and his warriors, the last man, whose name was Gik, 
heard groans through the uproar that was in the house. He ran 
away, and arrived among Gul-qa'q's remaining people. They took 
their canoe and went to Nes-balas's people to bring the news. He 
said that he had come from Haunas's feast, that he had shut the door 
of his feasting-house, and that he had destroyed all the chief's princes 
and warriors. He said, "I am the only one who has escaped." 

Therefore all the tribes assembled — the G'i-spa-x-la'°ts, G'itlanda', 
G■id-^\'ul-ksE-ba"', and the G'i-Iu-dza'r. And they went the 
Wuts !En-a'luk, and there wa-s a great battle on that day; but the 
people from up the river fled before the tribe of Wuts !En-a'luk, 
because no warrior wa^ left among them, and they had no chief to 
command them in battle. Few of the Wuts lEu-a'luk were lolled, 
but many of the people from up river were slain, and many were 
wounded. The battle raged for many days. 

Then all the people of the G'i-spa-x-]a'°ts were in mourning because 
they had no chief, only Nes-wa-ma'k. Nobody would go to him, 
because he had not rescued any of Nes-balas's family. Therefore 
the G'i-spa-x-la'°ts would not go to him. 

Three days after the battle Chief Haima-s came with four large 
canoes loaded with his warriors. They stopped in front of Nes-balas's 
fishing-camp, singing in their canoes, and happy because they had 
gained a great victory over their enemies. Therefore they mocked 
them; and as they arrived in front of Nes-balas's camp, they stopped 
there; and one of Haimas's men said, "'\^Tlo will come to my great 
chief, Chief Haimas, for he has won a great victory over his ances- 
tors' enemy ? Who will stand up against him ? All the tribes that 
made war against him are his slaves and in his power." 

Then one of Nes-balas's nephews, the eldest son of Wi-n!e'°x, the 
chief wife of the new Dzeba'sa, the boy named Hats!Eks-n!e'°x, who 
was about ten years of age, was lifted up by one of Nes-balas's war- 
riors, and said, "I shall stand up against Haimas. Don't speak 
proudly before me!" Then Haimas laughed at the little boy, and his 

364 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

men took ten of the late Nes-bfilas's people who were captured in the 
battle a few days before, and cut off their heads right before the ene- 
mies' eyes . Then they threw them into the water. Therefore Haimas's 
people were shouting; and Ilaimas took one of his costly coppers and 
threw it on the water, shouting, ' ' Now, child, come, and let us throw 
away valuable coppers!" 

Then all the Tsimshian tribes assembled at this place to see who 
would win. Therefore the remaining G"i-spa-x-la'°ts shouted, and one 
strong man represented the young prince. He took down a very 
large expensive copper and thi'ew it down on the beach, and said, 
"It costs four small Tlingit coppers." Then the people in the canoe 
shouted, and Haimas took a copper much larger than that of Prince 
Hats lEks-nle'^x. He threw it on the water, and said, "This copper is 
larger than yours ; " and while the G"i-spa-x-la,'°ts were waiting a while, 
all the Tsimshians were shouting and laughing and clapping their 
hands, and they said, "Haimas's valuable copper is s^vimming on 
the water! Behold, that wooden copper is floating on the water!" 

Then the young prince threw away another valuable copper, and 
said, "It is worth many mountains full of wooden coppers." He 
said this in order to mock the great chief Haimas. Then all the Tsim- 
shian were glad to see that Prince Hats !Eks-n!e'°x had beaten Haimas. 
The value of two great coppers were not paid back by the Wuts !En- 
a'luk to the G"i-spa-x-la'°ts until this day. Therefore the chiefi^ of 
aU the Tsimshian tribes encouraged the G"i-spa-x-l§,'°ts. 

Now, Haimas was wandering about in the country to hide some- 
where, because he was afraid of his enemies, and because he was 
ashamed that his wooden copper that was like a copper was floating 
on the water in front of the G"i-spa-x-la'°ts's camp on Nass Eiver. 
The whole tribe of Wuts !En-a'luk went ^vith their proud master. 

In the following winter the G-i-spa-x-lS-'^ts gathered together all the 
princes and princesses of the family of Nes-balas — three boys and two 
girls, the children of the great cliief Dzeba'sa; and two boys, the chil- 
dren of Nes-l5'°s, the great chief of the G"idzExla'°l tribe; and also two 
girls. Other princes were the children of the great chief Gadimaha'° 
of Tongass, three boys, and three girls, very beautiful princesses; and 
six boys and three girls, the children of the great chief Nes-y !aga-ne't, 
the uncle of Chief Haimas. This was the father of Nes-balas's niece, 
the wife of Chief Haimas; and many others were the children of several 
chiefs from all the tribes. 

In that winter, while the G-i-spa-x-ia'°ts gave a great feast to all 
the tribes, they took all their princes and princesses and gave them 
all the princes' and princesses' names. The eldest son of Dzeba'sa, 
Hats!Eks-n!e'°x, succeeded Nes-balas, and the fathers of these 
princes and princesses helped in the great feast given in honor of 
their children. This feast ended after fourteen days. Many cop- 


pers were given away, many slaves, and many large canoes, and all 
kinds of valuable things. 

After this feast the great chief Dzeba'sa gave a great feast for his 
son Nes-balas, and so did the fathers of all the other princes and 
princesses. Then all the Tsimshian tribes were glad because the 
G'i-spa-x-la'°ts had new chiefs. 

Many years had passed by. Haimas had not come back once. 
Since he had slain all the chiefs of the G"i-spa-x-la'°ts in his house, he 
had never shown himself among the Tsimshian chiefs, and no chief 
remembered him in any feast. 

Now, after many years had passed, before the people were moving 
to Nass Kiver, Ilaimas made a village at the mouth of Nass River, at 
G'in-go'li, to prevent the Tsimshian from going up Nass River to 
fish; and the Tsimshian, therefore, did not move to Nass River. 

The new chief Nes-balas invited all the tribes to make war against 
the Wuts !En-a'luk on Nass River. All the chiefs agreed to do so. 
The G"it-dzi'°s moved, and the G'it-qxa'ia, and they camped at 
K-quma'wut; and the G"it-dzi'°s went right on and camped at 
K-lgu-sgan-ma'lks. This was above Haimas's new village. 

On the following day one of Haimas's brothers-in-law, a G'it-qxa'la 
prince named Watk, went across to G'tn-go'li to visit his sister, one of 
the great chief Haimas's wives. Six young men accompanied him; 
and when he arrived at G'tn-go'li, at Haimas's village, they were 
invited in. So they went in. 

These men were very much afraid. They were asked to sit down 
on a wide thick board. Watk had his small dagger hanging around 
his neck; and Haimas pointed at the small dagger that was hanging 
around his brother-in-law's neck, and he said to one of the men, 
"Let me have a look at my brother-in-law's dagger!" Then his 
brother-in-law took off the small dagger from his neck and handed it 
to the young man, who gave it to Haimas. The great chief took it, 
and said, "Oh, my brother-in-law is a warrior! — Are you going to kill 
any one with this dagger?" The chief was laughing when ho saw 
the dagger, antl he said to one of his warriors, calling him by name, 
"Take this dagger and throw it into the fire!" So his attendant 
threw the small dagger into the fire. He said, "I ^v'ill give daggers to 
my brother-in-law and his men;" and he called one of his first war- 
riors by name, and said, "Come and show me your dagger!" and he 
who was called came to him. He gave him his war-knife, saj^ing, 
"This is it, sir!" The chief replied, "No; that is not the one. Let 
the warriors show me their knives." So these men lifted up their 
daggers, and the chief looked at them. He said also, "Go and see if 
you can find any in that box!" They opened the box, and showed 
that it was full of daggers; and he said, "Open another box!" They 
opened it, and showed him every dagger. The great chief Haimas 


had ten boxes full of daggers. They took out ten from the last box 
they had opened, and placed them in front of Haimas. The chief took 
one of them by the handle and threw it at his brother-in-law, who was 
sitting in front of the large fire. He threw them one by one, and 
the dagger-points entered the edge of the board on which his brother- 
in-law was sitting. The great chief said, "Bring me six more dag- 
gers!" They did so; and he took one and threw it at the first man, 
and hit the board close to his toes. Then he did the same to the 
other men. After this they served the food. Thus he showed his 
brother-in-law how man}^ daggers he had, and how many bundles of 
spears, which stood in the corners of his large square house. On 
the other side of liis house were piles of boxes of aiTows and spears, 
and many boxes of war-clubs, stone and bone clubs, and some boxes 
of stone tomahawks, and boxes with sling-stones, and all kinds of 
armor and helmets. After he had shown these to his brother-in-law, 
he sent him away. 

On the following day they told him that his uncle, Nes-y!aga-ne't, 
was camped above his village, with all his people. The great chief 
Haimas said, "Bring them down here, for I long to see him." So 
the Wuts !En-a'luk took a large canoe, and a number of young men went 
up to bring down the old chief, Nes-y!aga-ne't, and all his property, 
and his people, to Haimas's village. After this the Wuts ten-a'luk 
built a house for Nes-y!aga-ne't; and Haimas invited him to come 
to his house, together with some of his warriors. When they came, 
Haimas danced the welcome dance for his uncle, who was his father- 
in-law. They served food for the guests. 

While they were eating, Haimas asked his uncle to tell him what 
all the Tsimsliian had been doing during his long absence. He asked, 
"Has there been any chief among the G"i-spa-x-la°ts since I killed 
their chief years ago?" His uncle replied, "Ha, ha! what kind of a 
question is that ? You shoidd see the new chiefs of the G^i-spa-x-la'^ts. 
They are as numerous as gambling-sticks. Those whom you slew 
years ago are not as good as the new chiefs." 

Then Haimas hung his head; and after a while he inquired, "Who 
is the ■chief who is first called in the feasts?" His uncle replied, 
"They honor me." — "iVnd do any of the chiefs remember me?" — 
"No, nobody remembers you at all." — "And how about Chief 
Dzeba'sa^ does he remember me when he gives feasts?" — "No," 
replied his uncle. "What song does he sing?" — "His song is, 'I will 
make thee the highest one,' " replied his uncle. "Oh!" said Chief 
Haimas, "that means that I am your slave." — "No," said Nes- 
y!aga-ne't, "ho says, 'I make thee the highest one.' " Then Haimas 
asked, "And what is Ms next song?" — "His next song is, 'Ah, great 
Firewood!' " 



Then Haimas said, "Now, stop at once! They use my name in 
their song." Nes-y!aga-ne't replied, "No, that is not so." Now 
Haimas was very angry, and he did not say a word. 

After they had eaten, Nes-y!aga-ne't went out supported on each 
side on the shoulders of a slave; and as they were leading the old 
chief down the beach, Haimas sent down one of his attendants, and 
ordered him to loll Nes-y!aga-ne't. Then one of his attendants went 
down and killed him. He struck liim on his woven hat, saying, 
"Now, sir, lie down!" and the old chief fell down on the beach. 
Haimas was looking out of the house, and it seemed to him as though 
his uncle was not dead yet. Therefore he shouted to his officer, and 
said, "He is not dead! Strike him once more!" His attendant 
said, "I will do so, he is not my uncle;" and he struck him twice, 
untU he lay there dead. 

As he was lying there, Haimas ran down, took a valuable copper, 
and shouted, "Alas, my uncle!" He lifted up the head of the dead 
man, and put the copper under it. Then Haimas and all his warriors 
went to take his uncle's Raven headdress; but before they entered, 
one of Nes-y!aga-ne't's warriors' wives, whose name was QtsPl, had 
taken the headdress and put it into an old fish basket, which she had 
put dowTi at the door. Then' all the men of the Wuts !En-a'luk 
opened Nes-y!aga-ne't's boxes, searching for his headdress, but they 
could not find it. 

The G"it-dzi'°s moved up Nass River, taking along the body of 
then- chief; and Chief Haimas also moved up Nass River with his 
own people. 

Four days after he had an-ived at his camping-ground where he 
had lulled Nes-balas and his warriors, all the Tsimshian went up 
to their camping-ground. The G"i-spa-x-l§,'°ts also went to their 
camping-ground on the other side of the river. As soon as all the 
tribes were there, Haimas sent his messengers. They launched two 
large canoes, and they were singing in the canoes. The words of their 
song were as follows : 

I am cutting the heads of my enemies in front of the mocking child-chief! 

When the two canoes arrived in front of the camp of the new chiefs, 
they stopped for a while, and one of the new chief's warriors said, 
" What does this mean 1 Are you coming again to destroy us ? " One 
of Haimas's warriors replied, "Yes; I mil put the body of your new 
chief among the decayed fish, as we did your former proud chief and 
all his men." Then one of the G'i-spa-x-la'°ts replied, "Tomorrow I 
shall come to destroy you, your brothers, and your people." One of 
Haimas's men replied, "Do come! We are ready with another ditch 
to throw in the body of your new chief, as we did vnih your former 

368 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. ann. 31 

Now, Haimas's wife, the daughter of Nes-y!aga-ne't, went up to 
her father's house, to the place were the Gut-dzi'^s were encamped. 
Nes-y!aga-ne't's warriors advised her to take some excrement 
and put it on her husband's pillow, and then to come back again. 
They said, "If they come to kill you, we shall slay them to avenge 
your father." Therefore the woman went down again. She took 
some excrement and put it on the pillow of her husband, the chief 
Haimas. Then she went back to her father's house. 

Then the chief went into his house and saw the excrement on his pil- 
low, and he asked all his mves whether they had done it. IIlj wives 
did not know who had done it. Finally they said that his chief wife, 
Di°ks, had done it. Then he called his two brothers, Wi-ha'" and 
Gwina'°t, and asked them to go to the camp of the G"it-dzi'°s, and to 
bring Di°ks back. He said, "I will give her this excrement to eat." 

The two princes went up to the camp of the G'it-dzi'°s, and came 
to a place where a man was making a new canoe. They stood 
behind him, and said, "Your new canoe shall be ours." The man 
replied, "Yes; this new canoe that I am making shall be yours, but I 
will seU it." 

While these princes were talking to the man who was making the 
canoe, some of Nes-y!aga-ne't's warriors were ready to slay both of 
them. One man was sitting on the roof of the chief's large house, 
holcUng a long spear; and two others were in hiding on each side of the 
door, each holding a war-club. 

Before the two princes went in, they asked Am-dzl'°sk, the man 
who was making the canoe, "Is Di°ks, the wife of Haimas, in the 
house?" — "Oh, yes!" they replied, "she is in there. What do you 
want of her?" — "She put some excrement on her husband's pillow, 
and we come to take her back by order of our brother the chief." They 
went in; and as Wi-ha'° entered and stood in the doorway, he asked, 
' ' Where is Di°ks ? ' ' The princess was seated in front of her late father's 
coffin. She said, "Here I am! What do you want ? " At that mo- 
ment the man who was on the roof of the house thrust his spear into 
Wi-ha'°'s back just between the shoulders, piercing his backbone; 
and when Wl-gwina'°t saw his elder brother fall, he ran out. The 
two men at the door tried to kill him with their clubs, but they 
missed him, and he ran as fast as he could right down the beach and 
on the ice towards his own village. 

Haimas was looking towards the camp of the G"it-dzl'°s, and he 
saw a person being pursued on the ice, and said to one of his men, 
"Look here! Wl-ha'° is dri\nng the G"it-dzi'°s before him on the 
ice." At that time the man who was making the canoe took his 
tomahawk and threw it at Wi-gwina'°t's feet and struck him in the 
bend of the knee, so that he fell down on the ice; and all Nes-y!aga- 


ne't's warriors came dowii and thrust their spears into his body. 
Then they sang as their war-song the mourning-song of their master 
who had been killed a few days before. These were the words of the 

As he was walking along to see the body, he brought hia own blood on his own head. 

Then a youth, the son of Chief Haimas, ran home and told his 
father that Haimas's two brothers had been killed by the G^it-dzl'^s. 
Ho said, "The Gut-dzi'^s killed your brothers to avenge my grand- 
father, whom you killed a few days ago." Then he questioned his 
father, and asked, "Is this the great battle today?" His father 
replied, "No, not now, my child; but you will see a greater battle 
than this." Thus spoke the great-hearted man. 

Very early the following morning all the people from up the river 
went to attack them. There was a great number of war-canoes, 
and they arrived in front of Haimas's camp. The battle began on 
the beach, and there was a great battle on that day. The Wuts Ieu- 
a'luk fought valiantly, but they were weakening. 

Now the battle became fiercer, and many of the warriors of the 
Wuts!E4i-a'luk were kiUed. Again the young chUd asked, "Father, 
is this the great battle today?" — "Yes," said he. 

Then the G"i-s])a-x-M'°ts rushed against the WutslEn-a'luk, and 
there was a great battle that day. All the people from up the river 
went, and they took the village of the Wuts !En-a'luk house by house. 
Before they took Haimas's house, he escaped with a few of his men, 
three women, and a few children. The G'i-spa-x-la'°ts burned their 
houses and destroyed their property; and before midnight the shouts 
ing of the warriors was heard on the mountains near Jled Bluff Gulf 
(Gwagaba'lga dza'). It was a long shout, ending hke the hootmg of 
an owl. The war-ery of the G'i-spa-x-la'°t3 was hke the hooting of 
an owl. 

Then the people up the river were glad to have gained the victory 
over the Wutsten-a'luk. 

Haimas made his escape to the Nass River people, and they saved 
hun. Haimas's few people went back to the Tsimshian and scattered 
among all the Tsimshian tribes. The Tsimshian would not allow 
the WutslEn-a'luk to have a town of their own again. Therefore 
Haimas's people are scattered among all the tribes. Haimas made 
his home among the Nass River people, together with the three 
women who escaped with him. They married Nass chiefs. 

After many yeai-s, when Haimas was veiy old, a new Nes-balas 
and his people heard that he was making his home on Nass River: 
therefore they took many canoes and went up to the Nass people. 
Fuially they arrived at the place where Haimas was living. The 
canoes stopped in front of the village, and they wanted Haimas to 

50633°— 31 ETH— 16 24 

370 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [eth. an.n. 31 

atone for those whom he had slain hi his house years ago. Then he 
made atonement for each of the prhices and warriors whom he had 
killed in his house. 

Then a G'id-wul-ksE-ba'° man said to Haimas, "You shall atone 
also for my brother whom you have slain;" and the great old chief 
Haimas said, "Is thy brother's name Wi-ha'" or Wl-gwina'°t? I am 
not full of fear because I have done this. Come and look into my 
heart!" Thus said the big-hearted man, stretching out his hands; 
and as he stretched out his hands, he fell back and died. That was 
the end of his life. 

There are many things in his hfe about wliich I have not written. 
I have only told about his enmity against Nes-balas and his people. 


A long time ago, after the Deluge had covered the whole earth, the 
people mcreased in numbers. 

Three or four generations before the white man arrived on this 
coast there were many wars. The TUngit gamed many victories; 
and last of all they subdued all the Tsimshian, who fled before them. 
The Thngit pursued them everywhere, wherever they went to hide 
on the mountains. Therefore all the TsLmshiau went up Skeena 
River, so that the TUngit could not follow them. Nevertheless they 
kept watch over them. Then the Tsimshian were safe on Skeena 
River. They remembered that this river had belonged to their 
ancestors before the Deluge. Therefore they went there, but they 
did not go up to the place where their ancestors had lived. One 
tribe hved at G'itsIala'sEr; another one, at G"its!Emga'16n; another 
one, at K-lax-gnls River; one at KsEda's; one at KsEm-dzilxs; one 
at K-xadzuks; one at Kiyaks. One hved on the other side of 
Skeena River at Ginada'°xs and K-t!ad and Ksdal. These rivers on 
both sides of Skeena River belong to all the Tsimshian tribes. 

Not one tribe remained at the old towTi of Metlakahtla or anywhere 
on the seashore. This whole country was taken away by the TUngit 
as far as the mouth of Skeena River. 

At one time war broke out again. There was a great chief of the 
Eagle Clan, who was married to a princess of the G'ispawadwE'da. 
They buUt a strong fort, and named it Beaver Fort. The Eagle Clan 
assembled there to defend it agamst their enemies. The fort was 
built near the mouth of Skeena River, just above K-xadzuks River. 
Wlicn the fort was finished, aU the men jiracticed once a day. These 
people were the G"id-wul-g"a'dz. 

One time a young man came to them, a relative of the chief's wife, 
who loved his sister,^ the only daughter of the chief, very much. It 

1 Meaning his ntother's sister's daughter. It would seem here as though the j'oung man had married 
a girl of his own clan. — F. B. 


was not many years before the Tlinjjit attacked these people, and 
those who lived in the forti-ess wei-e ready for them. Then the chief 
said to the young man, "My son, take my oidy daughter and flee 
with her." Therefore the young man took her to a place above the 
creek K-t!ad. 

As soon as these two young people had left the fort, it was attacked, 
and there was a great battle. Again the Thngit were victorious; and 
not one man escaped, only these two young peo])le who had left before 
the battle. The Thngit were stronger than all the other tribes, and 
they took the Tsirashiau villages, fishing-grounds, and hunting- 
grounds as far as Nass River and Skeena River, although these two 
rivers belonged to the Tsimshian. 

The Thngit made villages on Dundas Island; and whenever they 
saw smoke ascending on the mainland, they went with many canoes 
and attacked the people, and all the Tsimshian were in great distress. 

Many years passed that way. None of the Tsimshian could go 
up to Nass River, because they were too much afraid of the Tlingit. 

Now, let us turn to the two young people who had fled from Beaver 
Fort many years ago. As soon as they arrived at the lake of K-t!ad, 
the young man married the girl, and they had a good home on the 
lake. They lived there many years, and had ten children, all boys. 
Their father taught them how to use their weapons, how to be suc- 
cessful, and how to keep themselves clean, and how to do things in 
the right way. Thus the ten young men became healthy and sti'ong. 
They were very good-looking. 

When the young men were full-grown, their father moved down to 
the mouth of K-t!ad Creek, and they cani|)ed there. The father was 
named Aksk; and as they were in camp there, he said t6 his sons, 
"Now, children, I want to take revenge on those who burned your 
grandfathers' Beaver Fort. Therefore go up and cut down fresh fir 
trees, and bring all the pitch that you can find, and bring fuie dry 

Then the young men went and brought what their father had 
asked for. He made a great heavy gate of the fresh fir wood. He 
cut the trees the right length, joined and nailed them together. After 
he had done so, he covered them with pitch and threw the dry sand 
over it. Then they cut some more fir trees and nailed them over the 
other ones, and covered the whole with ])itch and sand. He gave it 
four coats. This gate was so heavy that not one of the young men 
was able to lift it by the corner. Only the four eldest of the young 
men were able to lift it. 

One day they launched two canoes and moved down to K-xIen, 
one of their deserted villages. There they built a large square house; 
and they put around it a stockade of fresh firs, making a double wall. 
Then they made a floor high up in the house. A httle stream of 

372 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY [bth. ann. 31 

water ran tliroug;h one corner of the square house. Tho}' hung the 
heavy gate at the dooi-way. Then they carved human forms of 
decayed wood and spread garments over them, and put them down 
so that they looked Uke men lying in bed. In some beds there were 
two people. Then they took fresh large kelp and put it down from 
the second floor, and they made noise through it, as though the 
people that were lying on the ground were snoring. "When every- 
thuig was ready, they took down pitch wood and spUt it up, and 
scattered it all over the house. 

Very early the following mommg they made a large smudge, so 
that the Tlingit should see them. As soon as the smoke ascended 
and the Tluigit saw it, all their tribes assembled to come out and fight 
them. That very day many canoes went up from the mainland and 
came across to Dundas Island. Late in the evenmg they arrived at 
the south end of Metlakahtla Strait, and all the Thngit canoes came 
secretly. When they saw the large square house, they all came ashore 
in front of it, but the brave young men in the house did not care 
about these people who came to fight with them. They had their 
door covered with old mats, and they had made a large fire. They 
took their wooden drum, and the father of the young men sang to 
show their enemies that they were not afraid of them. 

Late in the night one of the young men from the square house took 
his pail and went to fetch water. When he was doing so, he saw aU 
the people round about. He went back to his brothers and told 
them that their enemies were about. In the evening, after they 
finished singing, they all went secretly up to the upper floor, ready 
to fight their enemies; and when the fire in the house had died down, 
all these brave young men blew mto the kelps, and it sounded as 
though the wooden figures were snormg. 

Then the enemies came one by one secretly toward the sleepers; 
and when all were in, the leader of the warriors gave his order, and 
said with a loud voice, "Go ahead!" and all the Thngit stabbed the 
wooden images with their knives. They could not get them out 
agam, and could not remove their hands, because the knife-handles 
were tied to their wrists. Now, all the enemies were in the house; 
and when the people pressed in at the door, the heavy gate of fir 
wood slid down and pressed the people down, and none of them could 

Then the ten brave men took their spears and killed everybody, 
stabbing them from the upper floor. After they had killed them, 
they went out. 

A few canoes fuU of people had made their escape. The Tsunshian 
men took one canoe and pursued them. The canoes of the Thngit 
went towards Dundas Island. They shot them with arrows, and 
those in one canoe were all kiUed by these ten brave men. They con- 



tinued to pursue them; and when they were near Dundas Island, only 
one canoe succeeded in making its escape. 

Then the young men came back, cut off the heads of those they 
had slam in the canoes, and their father cut off the heads of those 
slam m the house: and when the ten young men came back from their 
l)ursuit, they had four poles put up in their canoe, and many heads 
were hanging from those poles. They sang a song of victory, which 
they had learned the night when their enemies came into their house. 
Their father also sang a song of victory; and the young men took 
the bodies of those they had slain and threw them on the beach, 
which was fuU of bodies. They took their scalps; and after they 
had done so, they took all the skuUs and threw them mto the creek 
that ran by the side of the fort. They took all the canoes, crest 
hehnets, decorated daggers, decorated armor, coppers, and elk skhis 
of their enemies. 

Now, the father of the ten brave young men wanted to invite the 
chiefs of the Tsimshian. Therefore five of them went as his messen- 
gers. They went up the Skeena River as far as G'itsIala'sEr. Then 
all the Tsimshian chiefs came down the river. They all came on 
the same day; and when they arrived in front of the house and all 
the canoes of the chiefs were there on the water, the ten young men 
sang their song of victory, wearing their garments and scalps. After 
they had danced on the beach, they called each chief's canoe one by 
one, and the chief saw the bodies of the slain enemies on the beach, 
and they also saw the skulls in the creek. 

When they had entered, they were surprised to see the strong fort 
that they had built. The eldest son gave a great feast. He gave 
canoes to each chief, which they had taken from those who had been 
slain, and he gave everything that they had taken; and he took the 
name Wi-ho'^m (Great Bountiful One). After he had given his pres- 
ents to each chief, he said, "Chiefs, I want you to tell your warriors 
to come with me to Dundas Island to find the people who oppressed 
us for so many years." 

Then all the chiefs consented, and ten canoes went to make war 
upon the Thngit. They searched their hidmg-places on the island, 
but only a few men remained. There were only women and children. 
They took these as captives and came back after a few days. 

In winter all the tribes of the Tsimshian moved down to Metla- 
kahtla, each tribe going to its own old village. Then they took back 
the country from the Nass to the Skeena River, and the Tsimshian 
did not allow any TUngit on this side. 

Wi-ho'^m gave many feasts and came to be a great chief. In the 
last feast that he gave they carved his picture on a rock at Lax- 
kspaxl. Now all the Tsimshian were able again to move from 


Metlakahtla to Nass River for fishing olaohen, and from Nass River 
to Skccna River for salmon fishing and for berrying. 

Some of the Tlingit remained in their hiding-places. They made a 
village at the mouth of some creeks at K-don and Lax-maxl and 
K-ts !Em-adi'°n and at other places in the channel. Some of the 
people found hunting-grounds at various places along the coast, 
between Nass and Skeena Rivers. One tribe, the G"it-dzl'°s, took a 
creek north of Skeena River called Kiyaks, and they made a village 
there for the summer. 

They had homes in three places. Metlakahtla was their mnter 
home; Nass River was their spring home, for olachen fishing; and 
Skeena River was their summer home, for salmon fishing; and their 
hunting-grounds for the fall were on the creeks. 

A tribe of the O'lt-dzi'^s lived at the village Lax-lgu-sbo'il. In 
olden times the people were expert gamblers, and so it' was with one 
man of the G*it^dzi'°s. He was a head man in that tribe. His posi- 
tion was near that of the great chief named Galksak. This man was 
called Lax-ani's (On The Branch). He belonged to the Wolf Clan. 

In the winter this man's wife died. They had a son about twelve 
years old. The man kept him, and they were living at Lax-lgu- 
sbo'il. One day early in the fall he gambled with another man, and 
he lost all he had. There was nothing left to him who was living with 
his son. Some of his relatives gave him and liis son a little food. 
Therefore Lax-ani's took his little canoe and went down the river 
with his son. They camped at the mouth of Kiyaks, and took the 
little canoe up into the woods. They went inland to look for some 
beavers in the lake on the other side of Kiyaks Valley. They went to 
the first lake, and did not find any beavers, but they found some fresh 
footprints of people. They went to the second lake, and they did not 
find any. Here the man said to his son, "Maybe some strange people 
killed off all the beavers in these two lakes." He continued, "Let us 
go on ! " So they went down the stream that runs out of the last lake, 
and soon came to a small trail that led down along the river. When 
they were going down, Lax-ani's heard the noise of some one chopping 
wood. Therefore they climbed a hill on the side of the valley, because 
they were afraid. When they reached the top of the hill, he said to 
his son, "My dear, stay here alone! Do not be afraid, and do not 
cry, lest some misfortune befall us! Wait for me until I come back! 
I want to go down and see who is chopping wood there. Do not make 
any noise while I am away." 

Then the man went down secretly toward the noise, and he saw a 
tail man who was making a canoe. He was using a copper hammer 
and copper wedges to take chips out of the canoe that he was making. 
He had tied his hair in a knot on top of his head. Before simset the 



tall man put his hammer and his wedges under the log and went 

Lax-ani's went back to where his son was, and said to him, "Let 
us stay here over night!" They remained there; and early the next 
morning, when he woke up, he saw a small village below, and many 
small canoes at the mouth of another creek on the north side of the 
little village. When all the little canoes had gone, he said to his son, 
"Stay here! I will go down and see who lives in that village." 
There was nobody outside the houses. He ran down and entered the 
first house. There he saw women and children, who were covered 
with mats of red cedar. He went to another house, and there it was 
the same. 

Then Lax-ani's went back secretly to where he had left his son. 
Then he went down to the place where the man was making a canoe, 
and took the three copper wedges and the copper hammer. 

Then they went down quickly, and soon he reached his own canoe, 
went back, and on the same day they arrived at their village. 
Another man was making a canoe there. His name was Wa-di-dax. 
He was working at a narrow strait, Lu-tgi-na-baulkwa. He also 
belonged to the tribe of the G-it-dzi'^s. This man invited all the 
people of his tribe into his house. After the food had been served, he 
told them that he wished the young people to help him take down 
his new canoe from the woods. Then Lax-ani's said in the same 
house, "I want to speak to the wise men." 

After the young men had gone out, he said, "I discovered a little 
^'illage on the other side of Kiyaks Valley, on the seashore, not very 
far from the lake. A trail leads from the lake to the seashore. I have 
discovered that camp, and it is very easy to overcome the enemies." 
Thus said Lax-ani's, and all the -wise men of the G'it-dzi'°s agreed to 
go and fight them on the following day. 

They started, and Lax-ani's guided them through the valley of 
Iviyaks. They camped on top of the hill where Lax-ani's and his son 
had "been in camp before; and very early the following morning, 
before the sun rose, they saw many little canoes. One by one they 
went to the north side of the village. Lax-ani's counted the canoes, 
as he had done before; and when they were all gone, the brave men 
came down to the village and took all the women and children cap- 
tive. Some of the G'it-dzl'°s took them over the trail, and ma