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Full text of "How the Makah obtained possession of cape Flattery"

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INDIAN NOTES 
AND MONOGRAPHS 

Edited by F. W. Hodge 




A SERIES OF PUBLICA- 
TIONS RELATING TO THE 
AMERICAN ABORIGINES 



HOW THE MAKAH OBTAINED 

POSSESSION OF CAPE 

FLATTERY 



TOLD BY 

ALBERT IRVINE 

TRANSLATED BY 

LUKE MARK I STUN 



NEW YORK 

MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN 

HEYK FOUNDATION 

1921 



HOW THE MAKAH OB- 
TAINED POSSESSION OF 
CAPE FLATTERY 



TOLD BY 

ALBERT IRVINE 

TRANSLATED BY 

LUKE MARKISTUN 



HOW THE MAKAH OBTAINED 

POSSESSION OF CAPE 

FLATTERY 

Told by Albert Irvine 

Translated by Luke ]\L\rkistun 




HIS Xeah bay was owned by the 
Xitinat, together with Tatoosh 
island. There was a man who 
went out from this village here, 
out on the road leading south from the 
village, and on the trail he met a man who 
lived out in the woods, a wild man. One 
of his feet was bigger than the other, one 
big and one small, of this man. When 
he got up to the wild man he lost all his 
senses, also his breath. When this man 
came to, he became the strongest man in 
the village. 



INDIAN NOTES 



6 


THE MAKAH 




At this time the Makahs heard about 
this man that got the strength (the 
Makahs were from Waatcht, Sooes, and 
Ozette), so they came over here to have a 
hair-pulling contest. One of the Makahs 
challenged the man that had the strength, 
but he refused: he wanted to try with 
one of the slaves. So the Nitinat let 
him and the Makah (slave) come out; 
he belonged to one of the chieftains of the 
Makahs. So they had the hair-pulling 
contest and in the contest the Makah 
got his neck [head] twisted right off, 
which killed him. 

After this time, five girls went across 
from Ozette village to Ozette island. 
They were going out picking licorice- 
roots, and when they were going home 
from the island, a storm came up and 
these girls drifted on to Tatoosh island 
and there became slaves to the Nitinats. 
Then the Makah tribe found out that 
they were drifted to Tatoosh island and 
asked to buy these girls from them; they 
bought back four, missing one. 

Then they had council together and 




INDIAN NOTES 



CAPE FLATTERY 



said: "It is enough, what the Nitinats 
have done to us! They have twisted 
off the head of one of us and made slaves 
of our girls. Let us make war with 
them!" So they made war with these 
Nitinats. They made their first attack 
at Tatoosh island; they fought without 
any firearms, no powder. They had 
bows and arrows, also spears. So they 
were standing close to each other during 
this fight. There was great slaughter on 
both sides. When they got back home, 
that is, the Ozettes, they left two canoes 
on guard; if the Nitinats would attack 
them, they had these canoes day after 
day on guard. If any of the canoes 
should go from Tatoosh to Ozette they 
were going to have these canoes go out 
and slaughter them. These Nitinats 
moved away from the island on account 
of being killed off so easily on that 
Tatoosh island, therefore they moved to 
the mainland, where they call Deah, 
where a person may see these shells and 
clam-beds around here, that was from 
the time when the Nitinats were here. 



AND MONOGRAPHS 



THE MAKAH 



Now this gave a chance for the Ozettes, 
Sooes, and Waatcht people to get to- 
gether and come over and attack these 
Xitinats. They fought on this ground. 
The Alakahs had a council over these war 
affairs, and said, "We'll never give up 
fighting for the place!" They were 
going to fight till they drove the Nitinats 
out of the place. The Nitinats found 
out that they were losing, so they tried 
to make peace. They asked the chief 
of the Makahs' daughter to marry their 
chief, so they wouldn't fight any more. 

There were a brother and a sister 
among these Ozettes. They had noses, 
ears, and hair just alike. After they had 
this council, it was suggested that this 
young man should go in the place of his 
sister. This man's name was Wutswud. 
Now, he left word that he would be gone 
four days; it was this man that went as a 
young girl. When this young man's 
father brought him over to the Nitinats. 
Wutswud got a knife and cut himself in 
the groin, and when he got together with 
the man that he married, he reached 



INDIAN NOTES 



CAPE FLATTERY 


9 


down where he had cut himself and 
showed his bloody hand to the husband 
and told him not to sleep with him for 
that reason. 

Now, after the three days, on the fourth 
day he wanted him close alongside of 
him and hugged him pretty close. Dur- 
ing the night he [W'utswud] felt around 
for the husband to find out whether he 
was asleep. When he found he was 
sound asleep, he went for the door to 
open it, then he came back. He got 
hold of this Nitinat who was next to the 
chief and cut his throat. He took the 
head off and carried it along with him. 
This Nitinat chief's name was Watl- 
wiekoos. 

On the fourth day they were on the 
lookout for this man to make his appear- 
ance. Truly enough, he appeared and 
showed that he had the head, which he 
showed by making a zigzag on the beach. 
This was a signal for the Ozette Indians. 
So the Nitinats moved to Tatoosh again, 
and had only one chief this time. So the 
Makahs got together and made an 




AND MONOGRAPHS 









10 


THE MAKAH 




attack on the Nitinats which were on 
Tatoosh island, slaughtering a good 
many, but they did not get the chief. 
The Ozettes went back home, and during 
the night the Sooes came up toward the 
cape and hid themselves in the coves 
there for that day. They saw a canoe 
out between Kitidit [Duncan rock] and 
Tatoosh island, and in it was the chief 
of the Nitinats. So they paddled off 
from their hiding place to capture this 
man who was out fishing. They had 
paddled quite a way out before the folks 
on Tatoosh island discovered that there 
were war-canoes coming, so they called 
out and gave the w^arning from the 
island to the man who was out fishing, 
shouting, "Here come the war-canoes!" 
They called out like that two or three 
times, so the man out fishing paddled for 
the island and met them just as they were 
close to the cape as you go into the land- 
ing place. The man that was out fishing 
jumped from the canoe to the shore; 
while he was going up the rocks, they 
threw a spear at him. He was hit, not 




INDIAN NOTES 



BD 14.8^ 



CAPE FLATTERY 



through his body, but through his 
blanket that he wore, and they i)ulled 
him down from there and killed him. 
This chief's name was Kitlcheduk. 

Their chiefs were killed, and they 
stayed two days packing up. They did 
not move across at first when they moved 
out of here; they moved up the sound 
[east]. 

The Makahs captured at this time 
what they have here, and became sole 
owners of the place. They became 
owners of Xeah bay' and Tatoosh island. 

Now our title to this ground and the 
reason I am here now is because we have 
shed blood here. That is our title to 
these grounds. 



AND MONOGRAPHS 



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