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Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouver Island
Chapter XI

The aboriginal inhabitants of the two colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, of which I now propose to speak, may be divided into two classes, viz. the Coast, or, as they are generaly called, the Fish-eating Indians, and the Inland tribes. By Fish-eating Indians must be understood those who depend almost entirely upon fish for subsistence; for the Inland, as well as the Coast, tribes, live to a great extent upon salmon.

The Indians of the interior are, both physically and morally, vastly superior to the tribes of the coast. This is no doubt owing in great part to their comparatively slight intercourse with white men, as the northern and least known coast tribes of both the island and mainland are much finer men than those found in the neighbourhood of the settlements. But it is also attributable in no slight degree to the difference of their lives, the athletic pursuits and sports of the Indians of the interior tending much more to healthy physical development than the life of the Coast Indian, passed, as it is, almost entirely in his canoe, in which he sits curled up like a Turk. The upper limbs of a Coast Indian are generally so well proportioned and developed, that when sitting in his canoe he might be thought a well-grown man, but upon his stepping out it is seen that his legs are smaller than his arms. Miserable as these limbs are in size, in shape they are still more deformed, the lower bones becoming bent to the shape of the side of the canoe, and the feet very much turned in. With the women this is worse than with the men, and when they try to walk they waddle like a parrot, crossing their feet at every step. Again, the trade in slaves, which is carried on to a great extent among all the Coast tribes, and tends undoubtedly to demoralize them, is not practised in the interior. Of course the prisoners which they make in their many fierce wars with one another are enslaved, but the practice is not made a trade of by them as by the tribes along the shore.

To begin, then, with the Coast or Fish-eating Indians. Mr. Duncan, the missionary teacher at Fort Simpson, of whose labours there I shall have occasion to speak, and upon the accuracy of whose information every reliance may be placed, estimates the Indians of the east side of Vancouver Island, of Queen Charlotte Sound, and of the coast of British Columbia, at about 40,000 in number. Among them four distinct languages are found to exist, each spoken by some 10,000 souls. One of these is shared by the Songhies, a tribe collected at and around Victoria; the Cowitchen, living in the harbour and valley of Cowitchen, about 40 miles north of Victoria; the Nanaimo and the Kwantlum Indians, gathered about the mouth of the Fraser.

In the second division are comprised the tribes situated between Nanaimo and Fort Rupert, on the north of Vancouver Island, and the mainland Indians between the same points. These are divided into several tribes, the Nanoose, Comoux, Nimpkish, Quaw-guult, &c., on the island; and the Squawmisht, Sechelt, Clahoose, Ucle-tab, Mama-lil-a-culla, &c., on the coast and among the small islands off it.

Of these the Nanoose tribe inhabit the harbour and district of that name, which lies 50 miles north of Nanaimo; the Comoux Indians being found to extend as far as Cape Mudge. The Squawmisht, Sechelts, and Clahoose live in Howe Sound, Jervis Inlet, nnd Desolation Sound respectively. At and beyond Cape Mudge are found the TJcle-tehs, who hold possession of the country on both sides of Johnstone Strait until met 20 or 30 miles south of Fort Rupert by the Nimpkisli and Mama-lil-a-cullas. The Quaw-guults, and two smaller tribes, live at Fort Rupert itself. Five of the first-named tribes muster at Nanaimo for trade, and' being all more or less at enmity with each other, frequent encounters between them take place there. The others assemble at Rupert, at which post there are generally as many as 2000 or 3000 Indians to be found.

Of all these Indians the Soughies at Victoria are the most debased and demoralised. The Cowitchens are rather a fine and somewhat powerful tribe, numbering between 3000 and 4000 souls. The Nanaimo Indians, who at one time were just as favourably spoken of. have fallen off much since the white settlement at that place has increased.

I have said the distinct languages spoken by the Indians are few in number, but the dialects employed by the various tribes are so many, that, although the inhabitants of any particular district have no great difficulty in communicating with each other, a white man, to make himself understood by the various tribes, would have to learn the dialects employed by all. And when it is considered that hardly any attempt has been made to investigate and define the principles which regulate their use of words, and that the common roots of the words themselves, if they possess such, are at present quite out of the student’s reach, the difficulties of such a task may easily be conceived. The southern tribes, as a rule, understand the Chinook jargon, in which almost all the intercourse between Indians and whites is at present carried on. A few men may be found in almost all of the northern, and many of the inland Iribes, who understand it, but its use is most common in tbe south. This Chinook is a strange jargon of French, English, and Indian words, of which several vocabularies have been published. It was introduced by the Hudson Bay Company for the purposes of trading, and its French element is due to the number of French Canadians in their employ.

The Cornoux Indians possess a very fine tract of country inside a point called Cape Lazo, of which I shall speak hereafter. They are a large tribe, and have the reputation of being rather savage, though we always found them very peaceably disposed. They know quite well, however, the value of the 6000 or 8000 acres of clear land which they possess, and when I went over it with them, took great care to explain that the neighbouring Indians resorted there in the summer for berries, &c., and that a great many blankets would be required as purchase-money whenever we wanted it, an event which they evidently contemplated.

Next to them, as I have said, come the Ucle-tahs. The most important village of this tribe is situated at Cape Mudge, but they are spread all over Discovery Passage and the south part of Johnstone Strait. As I have before said, they may be regarded as the Ishmaelites of the coast, their hand being literally against every one’s, and every one’s against them. The Indians who come from the northward to Victoria in the summer, are particularly guarded when passing through their neighbourhood. Several battles have taken place at different times at or near Cape Mudge. Upon one occasion they murdered nearly all the crew of a Hudson Bay vessel which stopped there for water, one half-breed boy only, I believe, escaping. They are bold as well as blood-thirsty, and by no means disposed to yield, as Indians generally do, to the mere exhibition of force. In the year before last some of their canoes robbed two Chinamen’s boats off Saltspring Island, and on the ‘Forward’ being sent after them, the villagers at Cape Mudge, which is regularly stockaded, defied the gunboat and fired upon her. The ‘ Forward ’ had to fire shot and shell among thorn, and to smash all their canoes, before they gave in and surrendered the stolen goods. Had it not been for the rifle-plates with which the crew were protected, a good many might have been hit, as the Indians kept up a steady fire upon them for a considerable time. I must not be understood to say that these Ucle-tahs are the only tribe of Indians who have proved troublesome upon the coast, but they are alone as yet in standing out after the appearance of a man-of-war before their village. They also have a reputation, which may not, however, be quite deserved, of being more treacherous than the Indians of other tribes. Many stories are current of the cold-blooded treachery of all these tribes one to the other, and sometimes to the white men who have fallen into their hands. In 1858, for instance, some members of the Cowitchen tribe made a most brutal and treacherous attack.on a body of unoffending northern Indians, which I will detail, as it illustrates, not unfavourably, the hardihood and endurance of the red man amid the perils incidental to his life.

Information had been sent to the Governor of a canoe full of people having been massacred in Ganges Harbour, and H.M.S. ‘Satellite' was sent to inquire into it. Upon her arrival at Cowitchen it was ascertained that a northern canoe with a dozen Indians in it was passing down the inner passage to Victoria, when a white man, one of the settlers on the north end of Saltspring Island, asked them to take him to Victoria, calling at the settlement in Ganges Harbour on the way. They were willing to take him to Victoria, but objected to going to Ganges Harbour on account of the Cowitchens. The settler, however, overruled their objections, and they finally assented to his wish. When they reached the spot where their passenger wanted to land, they found about twenty Cowitchens camping there. These fellows came clown to the canoe, and made such cordial professions of friendship to the poor northerners, that they were tempted to land. While the white man was present their manner continued to he most friendly; but unluckily the settler’s house, to which he wanted to go, stood some quarter of a mile back from the shore. The moment he was out of sight the Cowitchens leaped up and fired on the others. Those who remained in the canoe shoved off, but were pursued and captm’ed all but one, a chief of some rank among them. Sis of the prisoners were slaughtered with the most barbarous, wanton cruelty; Captain Prevost of the ‘Satellite’ reporting that there were the marks of bullets discernible all round their hearts, and that their heads were fearfully battered in. Three women and a child were spared and kept as prisoners, all but one of whom were eventually rescued from them.

The Indian who escaped from the canoe swam to a small island at the entrance of the harbour, and his subsequent struggle for life illustrates strongly, as I have before said, the skill and endurance of his race when reduced to extremities. Although wounded in the neck, arm, and leg, he succeeded in floating upon a log from the island on which he had landed to Cowitchen Harbour, a distance of 13 miles. Here he was picked up by some other Cowitchen Indians, who, according to their own account, let him go. At any rate he escaped, and wounded and weak as he was, and with no other food than what roots and berries he could pick up, made his way through the forests and the midst of his enemies to Victoria, a distance of 45 miles, through a country entirely unknown to him. The pleasant part of the story, however, is that, on the ‘Satellite’s’ return with the women who had been recovered from the offending tribe, a canoe of northern chiefs, among whom was this very man, knowing the errand she had been on, put out from Victoria to her. Upon his going on board the first tiling lie saw was his wife, who had been washed and dressed, and was no doubt looking better than he had ever seen her. Although of course each thought het other had been murdered, there was no violent manifestation of joy upon their recognition. Captain Prevost said that her face lighted up, and she started a little, but then stood quite still, while the man walked up to her without any appearance of surprise or uudignified haste, kissed her once on the forehead, aud turned away, taking no more notice of her whatever until he was leaving the ship, when he called her to his canoe. Kissinjr in token of affection is not an Indian habit, and must have been taught this man, I take it, by the Koman Catholic missionaries. I have been in their villages upon several occasions while travelling - parties were leave-taking; and although the women, while packing up the store of fish or venison for their husbands’ journey have cried bitterly, and taken leave of them with every evidence of grief and affliction, I have never seen them kiss each other.

Several instances have occurred of whites being murdered by Indians in different parts of the colony, but I fear these murders have generally been the result of introducing firewater, or taking liberties with the females of the tribe; for although the Indian thinks little of selling female slaves for the vilest purposes, he sometimes avenges an insult offered to his own wives summarily. Their ideas, however, on this subject are by no means clear, for they occasionally take terrible vengeance for an insult which at another time they will not even notice. Whenever a white man takes up his residence among them, they will always supply him with a -wife; and if he quits the place and leaves her there, she is not the least disgraced in the eyes of her tribe. The result of this is, that you frequently see children quite white, and looking in every respect like English children, at an Indian village, and a very distressing sight it is.

Nortli of the district occupied by the Ucle-talis come the Nimpkisli, Mama-lil-a-cula, Matelpy, and two or three other smaller tribes. The Mama-lil-a-culas live on the mainland; the Nimpkisli have their largest village at the month of the Nimpkish river, about 15 miles below Fort Rupert. A picture of this place is given in Vancouver’s Voyages, and so little has it changed in the 70 years since his visit, that we recognised it immediately from that sketch. The Quaw-guults and other Indians at Fort Rupert possess no peculiar characteristics, but fight and drink when they can, after the fashion of Indians generally. I have previously described the ‘Hecate’s’ palaver with them upon the occasion of then having captured an Indian woman of another tribe. A palaver of this sort is a curious sight, and some Indians are very eloquent at them. All those present squat on crossed legs in the usual Indian fashion. The speaker, alone standing, holds a long white pole, which he sticks into the ground with great force every now and then by way of emphasis, sometimes leaving it standing for a minute or so while he goes on speaking. Then he strides to it, catches it up, and perhaps swings it over his head, or again sticks it into the ground. The exact meaning or purpose of this pole I do not know, but it has some particular office, and serves, among other tilings, to ratify any agreement to which they may come upon the subject discussed; for when they agreed finally to give up the slave, the chief stepped forward and handed the pole to Captain Richards.

In the third group Mr. Duncan includes all those Indians speaking the Tsimshean language, and to whom he has devoted so much care and labour. He divides these into four parts:—

2500 at Fort Simpson, taking the Fort as the centre. 2500 on the Naas River, 80 or 100 miles to the northeast. 2500 on the Skeena River, 100 miles south-east. 2500 in the numerous islands in Millbanke Sound, &c., lying south-east of Fort Simpson.

These northern Indians, as I have before said, are finer and fiercer men than the Indians of the south, or the tribes of the west coast of Vancouver Island, and are dreaded more or less by them. Their foreheads, as a rule, are not so much flattened, but then- countenances are decidedly plainer.

It is very difficult to give anything like a correct estimate of Indian population anywhere in the island, but upon the west or Pacific coast it is still harder, as no attempt whatever at ascertaining their number, even approximately, has yet been made. I imagine, however, that the island may contain from ten to twelve thousand, of whom five thousand live along the west coast. When speaking to Mr. Duncan once of the difficulty of numbering the Indians, he gave a very amusing account of the endeavour made to get a census taken at Fort Simpson. After every means had, it was supposed, been taken to prevent them from being found in two places at once, the operator got what was thought to be a fair start; but nothing could induce the Indians to believe that a game of some sort was not intended, so that as soon as the head of a house began counting heads, the younger members of the family would dodge from one side of the hut to the othei\ that they might be reckoned in again and again.

The Indians of the west coast are divided into 24 tribes. Some of these are almost extinct, while others number from 300 to 400 men. Among all these there are but two distinct languages spoken, while the dialects are not so numerous as on the other side.

All the tribes of Barclay, Clayoquot, and Nootka Sounds speak a language intelligible to each other. The names and approximate numbers of these tribes are as follow:—

North of Nootka Sound is the largest tribe of the West coast—the Kycu-cut—numbering 500 or 600 men ; and north again of these lie the Quatsino and Jvoskiemo, occupying the two Sounds bearing those names.

East of Cape Scott, which is the north point of Vancouver Island, is a small tribe—the Newittees, which meet the Quaw-guults at Port Rupert. Mr. Moffatt, who was for years in charge of Fort Rupert, and had therefore the best opportunities of judging, estimates the number of Indians between Nootka and Newittee at 1500 men. This would make the number of the Koskiemos, Quatsinos, and Newittees about 500.

Between Victoria and Barclay Sound are the Soke Indians, who are few in number; while the Pacheenetts, which I have included in Barclay Sound, also inhabit Port San Juan.

All these are fish-eating Indians, though they get at times a great deal of venison as well. The fish taken by them are salmon, halibut, cod, rock-cod, a large pink fish, in shape something like a rock-cod, herrings, smelt, kou-li-kim and clams. All these are eaten fresh, and are also dried. But although these are the fish best known to us and most commonly bought by us from them, the Indians feed upon the whale, porpoise or sea-hog, seal, sea-lion, sea-cow or fur-seal; sardine, cuttle-fish, squad, &e.; sea-cucumber or trepang; crabs, muscles, cockles and clams.

For animal food they have fallow, rein, and elk deer; mountain-goat, mountain-sheep (in British Columbia only); beaver, bear, lynx or wild cat, badger, sea-otter.

They also eat esculent roots, sap of trees, and various oils from the wdiale, seal, porpoise, and hou-li-kun; deers’-tallow, goats’-tallow, and bears’-grease.

The following land and sea fowl are also taken by them in large quantities:—Cranes, swrans, grey or Canada goose, white or snow goose, langley, stock-duck (like our wild duck), widgeon, teal, black duck, surf-duck, velvet duck; partridges, plover, sand-larks, snipe, sea-parrots, sea-hens, curlew, oyster-catchers, dovekils, gulls. The eggs of almost all these birds, and the spawn of fish, especially salmon and herring, are also much eaten. The latter is collected in large quantities and spread in the sun to dry. I never saw it used fresh.

Potatoes are now grown at almost all the villages in large quantities.

The Inchans have a favourite dish at then' feasts, which appears to answer to the carva of the South Sea Islands. They bring canoe-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, which they do in large howls, until it assumes the appearance of whipped cream, when all attack the mess with their long wooden spoons. Neither animals nor fish are eaten raw, except at certain ceremonials and festivities, which I shall presently describe. Venison, or indeed meat of any kind, is seldom dried or preserved on the coast, the quantity obtained being so small and the Indians eating so much flesh when they can get it, that it is devoured at once or sold at an adjoining settlement. Of their eating meat in large quantities, I speak from personal experience when travelling with them. When a deer or elk is killed they divide the meat pretty fairly, and, the first time they halt, cook it all in lumps three or four inches square; they then spit all the pieces on a stick and secure it on their backs, leaving one end within reach over the shoulder. As they walk along they every now and then pull a piece off the end of the stick and eat it, and in a few hours the whole is gone. In the season when bears are fat (midsummer) the Indian prefers their meat to venison.

They rely mainly upon fish for winter use. They cure it in large quantities, drying it in the sun and hanging it up in their lodges. A shell-fish, called Clam, forms a principal article of consumption: it is like a large cockle, being frequently the size of one’s hand, and with a smooth shell. They are found on almost all the muddy beaches, a few inches below the surface, at low water; their whereabouts being always denoted by a small hole, which they leave open as they imbed themselves in the mud when the water goes out. Through this hole they keep -perpetually spouting a small jet of water, making it most unpleasant work to walk over them. The task of collecting and drying them, as indeed of preparing all food, devolves principally on the old women and slaves; and parties of twenty or thirty of them may be seen going about from beach to beach on this errand, under the charge of two or three men. They carry baskets and dig them up with their hands or a stick—the beach, dotted thickly with women in red, green, or dirty-white blankets, presenting a somewhat picturesque appearance. 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 day 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 which 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. Some Europeans profess to like them; but I confess I could never get over their smell, to say nothing of their taste.

The oil obtained from the hou-li-kun is a common article of food among the northern tribes, and one of which they are very fond. This fish is not unlike a sprat, but somewhat longer and rounder, and is so oily that when dried it will burn like a candle. They are not found at the south part of the island, but are caught in great numbers to the northward. The process of extracting the oil from them is very primitive indeed. Mr. Duncan gives in one of his letters the following description of it, as witnessed by him at Nass River:—

“In a general way,” he says, “I found each house had a pit near it, about three feet deep and six or eight inches square, filled with the little fish. I found some Indians making boxes to put the grease in, others cutting firewood, and others (women and children) stringing the fish and hanging them up to dry 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), 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 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 filth contracted by those engaged in the work must not be washed off until all is over, that is, until all the fish are boiled, and this will take about two or three weeks. All these plans must be carried out without any addition or change, otherwise the fish will be ashamed, and perhaps never come again. "So,” concludes Mr Duncan, "think and act the poor Indians.”

The sea-cucumber, so well known in the South Seas as the Trepang or Beche do Mer (Ilolothuria tubulosa) is much eaten by the natives. Captain Flinders, in his ‘Voyage to Terra Australis,’ says it is boiled and dried, and traded, when thus prepared, with the Chinese. I have never seen the Red Indians dry it, nor have I ever seen it thus prepared iu their huts; but I have constantly seen it boiled and eaten fresh. I once tasted some that was just cooked, and found it had much the same consistency as India rubber, but without its flavour. The Indians make some kind of cake of the berries when they are plentiful.

The lichen (L. jubatus) which grows on the pines, is also prepared for food. Twigs, bark, &c., 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 pressed into cakes. Berries when fresh are eaten in a way we should hardly appreciate —viz., with seal-oil! I have seen the Indians land from a canoe and pick a large quantity of beautiful fresh berries, then take a small bowl and pour into it a lot of seal-oil, and, sitting round it, dip each bunch of berries into the oil, and eat them with great apparent relish. They prefer houlikun-oil for this purpose when they can get it.

They have various berries, among them the strawberry and raspberry. They are always very glad to get bread or rice, and these articles of diet are generally exchanged with them for fish. I found when travelling that neither the Coast nor the Inland Indians would ever eat pork. The .invariable reply to my questions why they did not do so, being “Wake cumtax Sivasli muckermuck cushom” (Indians do not understand how to eat pork).

Many of the ducks eaten commonly by the Indian would be found most unpalatable by white men ; indeed of the 24 species existing in this part of the world there is only one, the stock-duck, that can be relied on as being always free from a fishy taste.

None of these tribes are cannibals. An isolated instance of a man who eats human flesh may be found ; but lie is generally looked upon with horror and dread by the rest of his people. Still cannibalism is not altogether unknown among them; and instances may be adduced of wretches, who have actually exhumed and eaten human corpses.

For drink they are very fond of tea, and always delighted to get it when travelling, although I have never heard them ask for it in barter. I remember, on leaving a village in Jervis Inlet where my party had been sleeping, that the headman came to me and asked for a little tea for his mother, who, he said, had a bad pain in the face and was very ill. When they can obtain spirits, they will always get drunk; but I think they would rather be without them even when they are at work, travelling or otherwise. I have never yet been asked for spirits by any of a travelling party, but always for tea; and when I had not enough of that t© give them, they used to fill up my kettle with water, reboil it, and drink the miserable decoction with the greatest relish. When they cannot get tobacco, the Indians will smoke a small leaf like that of the box-shrub. There is another leaf which they also use for this purpose: to prepare it they pluck a small bough, hold it over the fire for a few minutes, then strip the leaves off and rub them in their hands till fine enough to smoke.

I have previously had occasion to refer to the fashion among the Indians of carving the faces of animals upon the ends of the large beams which support the roofs of their permanent lodges. In addition, it is very usual to find representations of the same animals painted over the front of the lodge. These crests, which are commonly adopted by all the tribes, consist of the whale, porpoise, eagle, raven, wolf, and frog, &c. In connexion with them are some curious and interesting traits of the domestic and social life of the Indians. The relationship between persons of the same crest is considered to be nearer than that of the same tribe; members of the same tribe may, and do, marry—but those .of the same crest are not, I believe, under any circumstances allowed to do so. A Whale, therefore, may not marry a Whale, nor a Frog a Frog. The child again always takes the crest of the mother; so that if the mother be a Wolf, all her children will be Wolves. As a rule also, descent is traced from the mother, not from the father.

At their feasts they never invite any of the same crest as themselves : feasts are given generally for the cementing of friendship or allaying of strife, and it is supposed that people of the same crest cannot quarrel; but I fear this supposition is not always supported by fact. Mr. Duncan, who has considerable knowledge of their social habits, says that the Indian will never kill the animal which he has adopted for his crest, or which belongs to him as his birthright. If he sees another do it he will hide his face in shame, and afterwards demand compensation for the act. The offence is not killing the animal, but doing so before one whose crest it is. They display these crests in other ways besides those I have mentioned, viz., by carving or painting them on their paddles or canoes, by the arrangement of the buttons on their blankets, or by large figures in front of their houses or their tombs. They have another whimsical custom in connexion with these insignia: whenever or wherever an Indian chooses to exhibit his crest, all individuals bearing the same family-figure are bound to do honour to it by casting property before it, in quantities proportionate to the rank and wealth of the giver. A mischievous or poor Indian, therefore, desiring to profit by this social custom, paints his crest upon his forehead, and looks out for an opportunity of meeting a wealthy person of the same family-crest as himself. Upon his approach he advances to meet him, and when near enough displays his crest to the unsuspecting victim ; and, however disgusted the latter may be, he has no choice but to make the customary offering of property of some sort or other. In this, as in many other respects, the Indians are so strangely superstitious as to allow themselves to he imposed upon by their more astute and unscrupulous brethren. It is common enough for an Indian living by his wits to circulate a report, some weeks before the commencement of the fish or berry season, that he has had a dream of a large crop of berries, or influx of salmon to some particular spot, which he will disclose for a certain present. He will then go through various ceremonies, such, for instance, as walking about at night in lonely places ; taking care that it shall be publicly known that he is “ working on the hearts of the fish ” to be abundant during the coming season. His supposed influence over the weather and the inclination of the fish are so readily credited, that he will in all probability command large prices for his pretended information and intercession. A canoe’s crew will often give a third of their first haul to the “fish-priest” to propitiate him, and ensure good luck for the rest of the season. The prophet of course takes care to send them to a place where fish are generally found in abundance; and, even should they be unsuccessful, it is easy for him to assert that they have done something to offend the Spirits. The habits of the fish themselves, perhaps, tend to the prevalence of such superstitious fancies; as they will often quit particular places altogether for a season, or for several years. Old women, also, often obtain much influence from the profession of second-sight and the power of foretelling births, deaths, marriages, famines, &c. Dreams are generally used as their machinery for these purposes. They also claim more than the gift of prophecy, and insist that they can prevent people they dislike from sharing in the success of the others, and in many ways influence their lives. It is not uncommon to see these old witches communicating their dreams to the tribe; men and women standing by with open mouths, and impressed wonder-stricken faces. I take it these poor old creatures often adopt this profession in the hope of lengthening their lives; for the Indians are very cruel to the aged, and when they become useless and burdensome to them will often kill them outright or leave them on some small desert island to starve. Thus the poor old creatures will go on gathering clams and berries as long as they can stand, or making themselves useful in some such way, knowing well that their lives are not worth much when they cease to work.

The most influential men in a tribe are the medicine-men. Their initiation into the mysteries of their calling is one of the most disgusting ceremonies imaginable. At a certain season, the Indian who is selected for the office retires into the woods for several days, and. fasts, holding intercourse, it is supposed, with the spirits who are to teach him the healing-art. He then suddenly reappears in the village, and, in a sort of religious frenzy, attacks the first person he meets and bites a piece out of his arm or shoulder. He will then rush at a dog, and tear him limb from limb, running about with a leg or some part of the animal all bleeding in his hand, ancl tearing it with his teeth. This mad fit lasts some time, usually during the whole day of his reappearance. At its close he crawls into his tent, or falling down exhausted, is carried there by those who are watching him. A series of ceremonials obervances and long incantations follows, lasting for two or three days, and he then assumes the functions and privileges of his office. I have seen three or four medicinemen made at a time among the Indians near Victoria, while twenty or thirty others stood, with loaded muskets, keeping guard all round the place to prevent them doing any mischief. Although a clever medicine-man becomes of great importance in his tribe, his post is no sinecure either before or after his initiation. If he should be seen by any one while he is communing with the spirits in the woods, he is killed or commits suicide; while if he fails in the cure of any man he is liable to be put to death, on the assumption that he did not wish to cure his patient. This penalty is not always inflicted; but, if he fails in liis first attempt, the life of a medicine-man is not, as a ride, worth much. The people who are bitten by these maniacs when they come in from the woods consider themselves highly favoured.

The ceremony of curing or trying to cure a sick person is very curious. I give the following description of such a process upon an old woman—a Tyee—in Slioalwater Bay.

“She had been sick some time of liver-complaint, and finding her symptoms grow more exaggerated she sent for a medicine-man to ‘ mamoke ’ (work) spells to drive away the ‘memmelose’ or dead people, who, she said, came to her every night.

“Towards night the doctor came, bringing with him his own and another family to assist in the ceremony. After they had eaten supper, the centre of the lodge was cleaned, and fresh sand strewed upon it. A bright fire of dry wood was then kindled, and a brilliant light kept up by occasionally throwing oil upon it. I considered this to be a species of incense offered, as the same light could have been produced, if desired, by a quantity of pitch-knots, which were lying in the corner. The patient, well wrapped in blankets, was laid on her back, with her head a little elevated and her hands crossed on her breast. The doctor knelt at her feet, and commenced singing a refrain, the subject of which was an address to the dead, asking them why they had come to take his friend and mother, and begging them to go away and leave her. The rest of the people then sang the chorus in a low, mournful chant, keeping time by knocking on the roof with long wands they held. The burden of the chorus was to beg the dead to leave them. As the performance proceeded, the doctor got more and more excited, singing loudly and violently, with great gesticulation, and occasionally making passes with his hand over the face and person of the patient, similar to tliose made by mesmeric manipulators; a constant accompaniment being kept up by the others with their low chant and beating with their sticks. The patient soon fell asleep, and the performance ceased. She slept a short time, and woke refreshed. This was repeated several times during the night, and kept up for three days; but it was found that the patient grew no better, and another doctor was sent for, who soon eame with his family of three or four persons, the first doctor remaining, as the more persons they have to sing the better.

‘Old John,’ as the last doctor was usually called, had no sooner partaken of food than he sat down at the feet of the patient, covering himself completely with his blanket. He remained in this position three or four hours, without moving or speaking. He was communing with the ‘To-man-na-was,’ or familiar spirit.

“When he was ready, he commenced singing in a loud and harsh manner, making most vehement gesticulations. He then knelt on the patient’s body, pressing his clenched fists into her sides and breast till it seemed to me the woman must be killed. Every few seconds he would scoop his hands together as if he had caught something, then turning towards the fire would blow through his fingers, as though he had something in them he wished to cast into the flames. The fire was kept stirred up, so as to have plenty of embers, on which, it appeared, he was trying to burn the evil spirit he was exorcising. There was no oil put on the fire this time, for the Indians told me they put on oil to light up their lodge, to let the dead friends see they had plenty, and were happy, and did not wish to go with them; but now all they wanted was to have the fire hot enough to bum the ‘skokeen’ or evil spirit the doctor was trying to expel. The pounding and singing were kept up the same as at the first performance. Old John sang to his ‘To-man-na-was’ to aid him; then, addressing the supposed spirit, he by turns coaxed, cajoled, and threatened to induce him to depart. But all was of no avail, for in two days the woman died.

At all the feasts the chiefs and heads of families give away and destroy a great deal of property; this raises them greatly in the estimation of their own and the people of other tribes summoned to the feast. Individuals and even tribes will sometimes travel 100 miles or more to be at the feasts of another tribe. The whole object of amassing wealth, indeed, seems to be for the gratification of afterwards destroying it in public. I was at a feast once where 800 blankets were said to have been destroyed by one man. I saw three sea-otter skins, for one of which 30 blankets had been offered and refused a few days previously, cut up into little bits about the size of two fingers, and distributed among the guests. In the interchange of presents the same crests never give to or receive from each other. I say, in the interchange for in making a present an Indian always has in view the return that will be made him. Indeed, should an Indian make you a present at a feast, and you omit to repay the compliment by presenting him with something equally valuable at the next feast, he will not hesitate to demand his gift back again. Mr. Duncan speaks thus of the religious feasts, and, among other customs, of the destruction of property on such occasions :—

“Their greatest luxury at such times is rice and molasses : their second dish of importance is berries and grease. Now and then I hear of a rum-feast being given, which is generally succeeded by quarrelling and sometimes murder. They are very particular about whom they invite to their feasts, and, on great occasions, men and women feast separately, the women always taking the precedence. Yocal music and dancing have great prominence in their proceedings. 'When a person is going to give a great feast, lie sends, on the first day', the females of his household round the camp to invite all his female friends. The next day a party of men is sent round to call the male guests together. The other day, a party of eight or ten females, dressed in their best, with their faces newly painted, came into the Fort-yard, formed themselves into a semicircle; then the one in the centre, with a loud but clear and musical voice, delivered the invitation, declaring what should be given to the guests, and what they should enjoy. In this case the invitation was for three women in the Fort who are related to* chiefs. On the following day a band of men came and delivered a similar message, inviting the captain in charge.

“These feasts are generally connected with the giving away of property. As an instance, I will relate the last occurrence of the kind. The person who sent the aforementioned invitations is a chief who has just completed building a house. After feasting, I heard he was to give away property to the amount of 480 blankets (worth as many pounds to him), of which 180 were his own property and the 300 were to be subscribed by his people. On the first day of the feast, as much as possible of the property to be given him was exhibited in the camp. Hundreds of yards of cotton were flapping in the breeze, hung from house to house, or on lines put up for the occasion. Furs, too, were nailed up on the fronts of houses. Those who were going to give away blankets or elk-skins managed to get a bearer for every one, and exhibited them by making the persons walk in single file to the house of the chief. On the next day the cotton which had been hung out was now brought on the beach, at a good distance from the chief’s house, and then run out at full length, and a number of bearers, about three yards apart, bore it triumphantly away from the giver to the receiver. I suppose that about 600 to 800 yards were thus disposed of.

“After all the property the chief is to receive has thus been openly handed to him, a day or two is taken up in apportioning it for fresh owners. When this done, all the chiefs and their families are called together, and each receives according to his or her portion. If, however, a chief’s wife is not descended from a chief, she 'has no share in this distribution, nor is she ever invited to the same feasts with her husband. Thus do the chiefs and their people go on reducing themselves to poverty. In the case of the chiefs, however, this poverty lasts but a short time: they are soon replenished from the next giving away, but the people duly grow rich again according to their industry. One cannot but pity them, while one laments their folly.

“All the pleasure these poor Indians seem to have in their property is in hoarding it up for such an occasion as I have described. They never think of appropriating what they gather to enhance their comforts, but are satisfied if they can make a display like this now and then; so that the man possessing but one blanket seems to be as well off as the one who possesses twenty; and thus it is that there is a vast amount of dead stock accumulated in the camp doomed never to be used, but only now and then to be transferred from hand to hand for the mere vanity of the thing.

“There is another way, however, in which property is disposed of even more foolishly. If a person be insulted, or meet with an accident, or in any way suffer an injury, real or supposed, either of mind or body, property must at once be sacrificed to avoid disgrace. A number of blankets, shirts, or cotton, according to the rank of the person, is torn into small pieces and carried off.”

The numberless antics practised at these feasts would take far more space to describe than I can devote to them. I believe, however, there is some system in them, and that much which appears to us sheer folly has a meaning and a purpose to these ‘poor creatures. Their sacred feasts are of several kinds, but the most common is that which takes place at the commencement of each season, to invoke the aid of the deity for fine weather, plenty of fish, &c. &c. A glimpse of one of these is given by the liev. Mr. Garrett (of whom I shall have occasion to speak hereafter in connection with the missions to the Indians), in a letter to his brother:—

11 Lee. 16.—When crossing the bridge to the Indian School to-day, I was astonished by a very loud noise proceeding from one of. the houses of the Songhies. Guided by the sound, I entered the house to see what was going on. For a time, so great was the din, I could make nothing of it. At length, by force of inquiry, and pressing through the crowd to the front, I witnessed the following scene. A space, about 40 feet by 20 feet, had been carefully swept; three large bright fires were burning upon the earthen floor; round three sides of this space a bench was fixed, upon which were packed, as close as they could fit, a crowd of young women. I do not think there were any men or boys among them, but there being only the light of the fires, I could not see very distinctly. Each of these individuals was armed with two sticks. In front of them, extending all the way round the rectangular space, was a breadth of white calico. Under this calico the row of sticks exhibited themselves. Upon the ground, in the corner on my right, was a young man provided with a good-sized box, which he had fixed upon an angle and used as a drum. Also, on the ground, still nearer to me, sat an old man and an old woman; and flat upon the ground, apparently dead, lay a female chief, with her head reclining in the lap of the old crone; while around me there stood a motley crowd of all tribes, staring first at me and then at the stage. All this time the choir upon the benches kept up a sort of mixture between a howl and a wail, while they beat time upon the bench with the forest of sticks with which they were armed; our friend upon the ground making his wooden drum eloquent of noise. It is utterly vain to attempt to give any description of the terrible noise which was thus occasioned. This continuing, for about twenty minutes, the female chief began to show signs of life; first, by a slight motion of the hands, then of the arms, then of the shoulders, and so on, until her whole frame became violently agitated; the din and the uproar increasing in intensity as her agitation increased. At length she shook herself into a sitting position, when, with hair dishevelled and glaring eyes, she formed a singularly repulsive spectacle. Her agitation increased, until there could have been no part of her body which did not shake— the storm and rattle of sticks and the howling unmeaning wail steadily keeping pace with her—when, suddenly, at a motion of her hand, there was an instantaneous silence. They watched her narrowly and her every motion was observed. Upon a signal they began again, and stopped as suddenly. At length she got upon her hunkers, and in that not very graceful position jumped about between the fires. Presently, as her inspiration increased, she raised herself and ultimately got herself erect. Having, then, by a series of very ungraceful motions, completed a journey round the fires, she came to a stand at the end of the rectangle next which the old man and woman were sitting. . . . This being done, such a clatter and rattle and yell were raised as nearly deafened me. . . . My time being now exhausted, I was obliged to leave this strange but interesting scene.

“It was refreshing to breathe the sea-air again and gaze upon the light of day, after emerging from so unearthly a place. Pursuing my way, I met a man carrying two large boilers. I cross-examined him, and ascertained that the female chief, who was playing her part within among the women, would presently give an abundant feast of wild-fowl to all the men, and that he was bringing down the boilers to cook the same. He further stated that all the men were assembled in his house, awaiting the gift, and that, if I wished, he would gladly show me where they were. I accompanied

t him joyfully. I found a very large house, carefully swept, with several good fires burning brightly upon the earthen floor, and about fifty or sixty men assembled, in patient expectation of the birds. I inquired into the nature of the musical entertainment going on. They told me that was their “Tamanoes,” or sacred feast; that they always played and danced so during the latter half of the last month in the year; that they did so for two reasons—first, to make their hearts good for the coming year, and secondly, to bring plenty of rain, instead of snow; that if they did not do so, a great deal of snow would come, and they should be very much afraid.”

At their grand feasts and ceremonies some of the chief men wear very curious masks and dresses—the former composed of the heads of animals decorated with feathers, and painted various colours. At Fort Rupert, “Whale,” one of the Quav-guult chiefs, showed me his masks, which he kept carefully locked up in a large box. One in particular was most extraordinary: it was a wooden head, large enough to take his own inside easily, and I think meant for an eagle; the mouth was very large, and could be opened by strings, which were carried through the top of the mask and down the back, so as to be worked by the wearer’s hands. I have seen others with strings to make the wings flaj3, and to turn the head from side to side.

On all occasions of peace-making, whether it be feast or palaver, the chiefs cover their heads with eagles’ down and scatter it about them and over the person with whom they are making peace. I have seen this done on several occasions and under different circumstances. With them, as with us, white always denotes peace. For example, the Indians, whom we employed on board as interpreters, always put white feathers in their caps when going among a strange tribe. Mr. Duncan also speaks of this occurring at their reception of him on two different occasions.

He says:—“Much to my sorrow, he (the chief) put on his dancing-mask and robes. The leading singers stepped out, and soon all were engaged in a spirited chant. They kept excellent time by clapping their hands and beating a drum. (I found out afterwards that they had been singing my praises, and asking me to pity them and do them good.) The chief Kahdoonahah danced with all his might during the singing. He wore a cap which had a mask in front, set with mother-of-pearl and trimmed with porcupine-quills. The quills enabled him to hold a quantity of white birds’ down on the top of his head, which he ejected while dancing by jerking his head forward; thus he soon appeared as if in a shower of snow. In the middle of the dance a man approached me with a handful of down and blew it over my head, thus symbolically uniting me in friendship with all the chiefs present and the tribes they severally represented.”

On another occasion he says:—“The usual course was pursued. Kinsahdad dressed himself up in his robes, and then danced while the people sang and clapped their hands. During the performance I was nearly covered with white downy feathers. A man, after having feathered Kinsahdad’s head, came and blew'a handful over me. One great feature of the dance was that the performer should keep a cloud of feathers flying about his guest. It was done in this way : the dancer, after making a graceful approach, would commence a retreat, still keeping his face toward me, and, in perfect time with the song and clapping of hands, jerk his head forward at every step, and thus keep a quantity of feathers flying from his head-dress.”

The reader will notice in these extracts, and in all that has been said about the Indian feasts, a curious distinction between the customs of the West and those of the East. Here it is always the men, and the chief men, who dance and take a part in all the antics, while in the East the women are the performers. I have never seen an Indian woman dance at a feast, and believe it is seldom if ever done. The young men sit round and look on with awe at what Easterns would regard as beneath the dignity of man. So with work: the woman of the West is a slave, performing the most menial offices, while the woman of the East lives a life of luxurious idleness.

On missions of peace also this down is, as I have said, made use of. One day in talking to Mr. Bamfield, the Indian agent on the West coast of Vancouver Island, who has resided among the Ohyat tribe several years, we were comparing many of the Indian customs with those of Europe, and he told me that on the occasion of a quarrel between the Ohyat and another tribe, a chief, who was one of the best speakers among them, was employed for several days as envoy, going frequently to the enemy’s camp to negociate, and that his diplomacy averted war. During the whole time of the negociations the peace-maker wore eagles’ down all over his head, so that he looked as if he had been powdered, and eagles’ feathers in his cap, or secured to a band round his head. I remember Mr. Bamfield mentioning another occasion, on which they came to blows, as illustrative of the systematic method of their approach and attack. The Ohyats and Nootkas joined forces against the Clayoquots; and Mr. Bamfield accompanied them part of the way. When they approached the Clayoquot village they were to attack, they put into a sandy beach and lauded: the chiefs then held a consultation with those who knew the place best, and having hit upon a young man who had a Clayoquot wife, told him to draw a plan of the place on the sand. He commenced by marking out the grouud, then the houses ; describing the partitions in them, how many men were in each, whether they were brave or cowardly: in fact, -describing the place accurately. They then divided the work between the two tribes, and, standing back to back some little way apart, the chiefs told off each man to his duty. Everything, he said, was perfectly arranged. Till attack was, however, not successful, as the Nootkas failed in their part and would not leave their canoes. The Ohyats took 18 heads, and lost about the same number. The cause of the war was that the Clayoquots had murdered a white man, and tried to put the blame on the others, among whom he was living.

As a rule, the Indians burn their dead, and then bury the ashes. The mode of depositing these remains differs even among members of the same tribes. Sometimes they are buried in the ground, sometimes in trees, in boxes or in canoes. There is, I think, no rule or rules observed in sepulture. I have seen more suspended among the branches of the trees than buried in the ground, but their mode of sepulture depends very much upon convenience and circumstances. More are laid on the ground than in it, for the Indians have, I believe, a decided objection to interment —whether from any idea of a resurrection or not, I cannot say. When buried on the ground, they are generally placed among the bushes on some small islet, and the top of the box is always covered with large stones. We used quite commonly to come across the bleached bones when putting up surveying-stations. It is very common for a man’s property to be buried with him, or suspended over his grave. In the case of great men the latter course is, I think, chosen generally for the purpose of showing their wealth. I have seen the grave of a chief inland with a number of blankets cut in strips hanging over it, several pairs of trowsers, and two or three muskets. At Nanaimo there is a small hut built over the remains of the late chief. In the case of a chief it is also customary to paint or carve his crest on the box in which his bones lie, or to affix it on a large signboard upon a pole or neighbouring tree. Mr. Duncan says that if the crest of the deceased happens to be an eagle or a raven, it is usual among the Northern Indians to carve it in the act of dying—the bird being affixed to the edge of the box with its wings spread, so that it appears to a passer-by as if just about to leave tlie coffin; and be (Mr. Duncan) very naturally asks whether this may come of any knowledge of a resurrection of the dead among the Indians.

They will not usually let strangers witness the burial of their dead. It was at one time not uncommon for Indians to desert for ever a lodge in which one of their family had died; but this rarely, if ever, happens now.

The rites of mourning are carried out strictly, but not until the corpse is buried. After this, at sunrise and sunset, they wail and sing dirges for the space of some thirty days.

I never witnessed a funeral myself; but I think that, except when the person to be buried is of some rank, there is very little ceremony.

At Fort Simpson it appears to be the regular custom to burn the dead, but this is departed from in some cases; for Mr. Duncan mentions witnessing a funeral there from the Fort Gallery. He says : “The deceased was a chief’s daughter, who had died suddenly. Contrary to the custom of the Indians here (who always burn their dead), the chief begged permission to inter her remains in the Fort Garden, alongside her mother, who was buried a short time ago, and was the first Indian thus privileged. The corpse was placed in a rude box, and borne on the shoulders of four men. About twenty Indians, principally women, accompanied the old chief (whose heart seemed ready to burst) to the grave. A bitter wailing was kept up for three-quarters of an hour, during which time about seven 01* eight men, after a good deal of clamour (which strangely contrasted with the apparent grief of the mourners), fixed up a pole at the head of the grave, on which was suspended an Indian garment. At the bead of the mother’s grave several drinking-vessels were attached, as well as a garment.

It is certain that the Indians have some idea of a Superior Being; and this idea, no doubt, dates before the appearance of any priests among them. They believe, too, that thunder is his voice. I remember on one occasion, when I was travelling in a canoe during a violent thunderstorm, that, at each peal, all the rowers rested on their paddles, and said a prayer, taught them, no doubt, by the Romish priests, and I could not get them to paddle on till they had finished it.

After a storm on the coast, they always search for dead whales, and seem to connect them in some way with thunder. It is very difficult indeed to get at any of their traditions, and still more difficult to distinguish between their own standard doctrines and the teaching of the priests. One of the settlers on the west coast of Vancouver Island, who has been there for a number of years, told me that there was at Ohyat a carving of two eagles with a dove in their centre and two serpents in the rear, with a whale seemingly seeking protection from the serpents. This carving representing thunder, under its native name Tuturrh, was held in great respect by them. An old half-breed once told me that one of their legends was that crows were white once, but were made black by a curse: what they had done to deserve this punishment I could not ascertain.

The Indians appear generally to have some tradition about the Flood. Mr. Duncan mentions that the Tsimsheans say that all people perished in the water but a few. Amongst that few there were no Tsimsheans; and now they are at a loss to tell how they have reappeared as a race. In preaching at Observatory Inlet he referred to the Flood, and this led the chief to tell him the following story. He said: “We have a tradition about the swelling of the water a long time ago. As you are going up the river you will see the high, mountain to the top of which a few of our forefathers escaped when the waters rose, and thus were saved. But many more were saved in their canoes, and were drifted about and scattered in every direction. The waters went down again ; the canoes rested on the land, and the people settled themselves in the various spots whitlier they had been driven. Thus it is the Indians are found spread all over the country; but they all understand the same songs and have the same customs, which shows that they are one people.”

Schoolcraft, the American writer, in his ‘History of the Indians,’ narrates a similar tradition, which is found current on the east side of the Rocky Mountains.

As their languages become more known, many other legends and traditions will doubtless come to light; but I must not conclude this notice of them without reference to the most interesting yet known, viz., a belief in the Son of God. “This [Observatory Inlet] being (says Mr. Duncan) a noted place, the Indians have several legends connected with the various objects about. I listened to some, and remarked that in most of them the Son of the Chief above occupies the place of benefactor or hero, and most of the acts ascribed to him are acts of mercy. It was he, they say, that first brought the small fish to this inlet for them, which now forms one of their principal articles of food.”

As I have before said, the Roman Catholic priests have, so far as regards forms and the observance of certain religious customs, done a good deal among them. I remember one Sunday in Port Harvey, Johnstone Strait, when we were all standing on deck, on a bright sunny morning just before church-time, looking at six or eight large canoes which hung about the ship, they suddenly struck up a chant, which they continued for about ten minutes, singing in beautiful time, their voices sounding over the perfectly still water and dying away among the trees with a sweet cadence that I shall never forget. I have no idea what the words were, but they told us they had been taught them by the priests. The Roman Catholic priest, indeed, has little cause to complain of his reception by the Indians. On the west coast, at a place where the priest had been before, but had not time to revisit them, he sent his shovel-hat in the canoe in his stead; and upon its arrival the whole village turned out, shouting “Le Pretre! Le Pretre!” and had prayers at once upon the spot. I have seen other Indians, on the priest’s arrival among them, cease their fishing and other occupations, and hurry to meet him.

At Esquimalt all the Indians attend the Romish mission on Sunday morning, and at eight o’clock the whole village may be seen paddling across the harbour to the mission-house, singing at the top of their voices. Certainly the self-denying zeal and energy with which the priests labour among them merit all the success they meet with. To come upon them, as I have done, going from village to village alone among the natives, in a dirty little canoe, drenched to the skin, forces comparisons between them and the generality of the labourers of other creeds that are by no means flattering to the latter.

Perhaps the worst failing of the Red man, next to his love of fire-water, is his passion for gambling. Most of them will gamble away everything they have—houses, wives, property, all are staked upon the chances of their favourite games. If in passing their village at night you leave them sitting in a ring gambling, the chances are that, upon your return in the morning, you will find them at it still. I have only seen two games played by them, in both of which the object was to guess the spot where a small counter happened to be. In one of these games the counter was held in the player’s hands, which he kept swinging backwards and forwards. Every now and then he would stop, and some one would guess in which hand he held the counter, winning of course if he guessed right. The calm intensity and apparent freedom from excitement, with which they watch the progress of this game is perfect, and you only know the intense anxiety they really feel by watching their faces and the twitching of their limbs. The other game consisted of two blankets spread out upon the ground, and covered with saw-dust about an inch thick. In this was placed the counter, a piece of bone or iron about the size of half-a-crown, and one of the players shuffled it about, the others in turn guessing where it was. These games are usually played by ten or twelve men, who sit in a circle, with the property to be staked, if, as is usual, it consists of blankets or clothes, near them. Chanting is very commonly kept up during the game, probably to allay the excitement. I never saw women gamble.

The Indians are well known to be polygamists, but I believe that a plurality of wives is general only among the chiefs of tribes, the rest being commonly too poor to afford this luxury. No other cause for any such abstinence on their part exists. When Mr. Stain was the Colonial Chaplain at Victoria, the chief of the tribe residing there went to him for some medicine for his wife, who was ill. He gave him something which cured her, and, to the astonishment of the chaplain and his family, a day or two afterwards the chief came to his house, leading his wife by the hand, and, in gratitude for her recovery, presented her to his benefactor. On being remonstrated with, I believe, by the chaplain’s wife, who objected, not at all unnaturally, to the nature of the offering, he said it was nothing, not worth mentioning in fact, as he could easily spare her, she being one of eleven!

I have said that intrigue with the wives of men of other tribes is one of the commonest causes of quarrel among the Indians. This is not surprising, when it is considered, among other things, that marriage is entirely a buying and selling process, and the bargain is frequently made when the principals are children. The man or his friends give so many blankets for the wife, while yet a child. If when she grows up she refuses to marry the man who has purchased her, she or her friends must return all the property paid for her; if they cannot do this, she is obliged to go to the buyer. There is generally a feast at the wedding of any one of importance in a tribe; but this, I think, depends entirely on the wealth of bride and bridegroom, much as in our own country.

In appearance the Indians of Vancouver Island have the common facial characteristics of low foreheads, high cheekbones, aquiline noses, and large mouths. They all have their heads flattened more or less; some tribes, however, cultivating this peculiarity more than others. The process of flattening the head is effected while they are infants, and is very disgusting. I once made a woman uncover a baby’s head, and its squashed elongated appearance nearly made me sick. By far the most flattened heads belong to the tribe of Quatsiuo Indians, living at the north-west end of the island. Those who have only seen the tribes of the east side of the island may be inclined to think the sketch of this girl exaggerated, but it was really drawn by measurement, and she was found to have 18 inches of solid flesh from her eyes to the top of her head. It does not appear that the process at all interferes with their intellectual capacities. Among some of the tribes pretty women may be seen: nearly all have good eyes and hair, but the state of filth in which they live generally neutralises any natural charms they may possess.

Half-breeds, as a rule, inherit, I am afraid, the vices of both races: I speak of the uneducated half-breed, to whose Indian abandonment to vice and utter want of self-control appears to be added that boldness and daring in evil which he inherits from his white parent.

The Indian’s head is generally large, often so large as to be somewhat out of (proportion to the rest of liis frame. Men and women both part their hair in the middle, and wear it long, hanging over the shoulder. The hair is generally good, but so neglected that it looks, and is, very dirty. The custom of painting prevails among all Indians in North America. They paint the face in hideous designs of black and red (the only colours used), and the parting of the hair is also coloured red. I have seen them when travelling, and when I knew they had not washed for three weeks, take the greatest pains in colouring their faces, oiling their hair with fish-oil, and painting the parting. The northern males sometimes wear their hair cut short, or rolled up into a sort of hall on the top of the head ; but the southern tribes consider it a disgrace to have short hair. A Barclay Sound lad, whom we took on board the ‘Hecate,’ and who had been persuaded to have his hair cut, said he could not go back to his tribe until it had grown again.

The men very seldom have beards or moustaches, and are in the habit of pulling out any hair that appears on their faces. This beardlessness appertains to almost all the North American Indians, and I believe not to them only, as the natives of the Congo, who are very fine men, have no hair on their faces. The hair of their heads is almost always dark brown, though sometimes an Albino is seen with quite white hah. The strong feature in all their faces is their eyes, which are nearly always fine, and among the half-breeds very beautiful.

Their constant diet of dry fish, &c., has the curious effect of destroying the teeth, so that you hardly ever see an Indian over middle age with any visible, having worn them down level with the gums.

Some Indians, especially the tribes of Queen Charlotte Islands, carve very well, and much of their leisure time is spent in decorating their canoes and paddles, making dishes and spoons in wrood or slate, bracelets and rings of metal. They make busts out of whales’ teeth, that are in some cases very faithful likenesses. Like the Chinese, they imitate literally anything that is given them to do; so that if you give them a cracked gun-stock to copy, and do not warn them, they will in their manufacture repeat the blemish. Many of their slate-carvings are very good indeed, and their designs most curious.

One of their strangest prejudices, which appears to pervade all tribes alike, is a dislike to telling their names—thus you never get a man’s right name from himself; but they will tell each other’s names without hesitation.

I have previously mentioned that slavery is universally practised among these tribes, and the subsequent extracts from Mr. Duncan’s Journal will show with what horrid cruelty their captives are treated—indeed, it often happens that some crime is atoned for by a present of three or four slaves, who are butchered in cold blood.

I have also spoken of the intense hatred of them all for the “Boston men.” This hatred, although caused chiefly by the cruelty with which they are treated by them, is also owing in a great measure to the system adopted by the Americans, of moving them away from their own villages when their sites become settled by whites. The Indians often express dread lest we should adopt the same course, and have lately petitioned Governor Douglas on the subject.

Their phraseology abounds in highly figurative and flowery expressions. It is so little known, however, as yet, that anything like an accurate account is impossible. In illustration, I will, however, quote from Mr. Duncan’s Journal an account given him by an Indian, of the first appearance of white men among his people, the Keethratlah Indians, near Fort Simpson. “One very old man,” he writes, “with characteristic animation, related to me the tradition of the first appearance of the whites near this place. It was as follows:— A large canoe of Indians were busy catching halibut in one of these channels. A thick mist enveloped them. Suddenly they heard a noise as if a large animal were striking through the water. Immediately they concluded that a monster from the deep was in pursuit of them. With all speed they hauled up their fishing-lines, seized the paddles, and strained every nerve to reach the shore. Still the plunging noise came nearer. Every minute they expected to be ingulphed within the jaws of some huge creature. However, they reached the land, jumped on shore, and turned round in breathless anxiety to watch the approach of the monster. Soon a boat filled with strange-looking men emerged from the mist. The pulling of the oars had caused the strange noise. Though somewhat relieved of fear, the Indians stood spell-bound with amazement.

“The strangers landed, and beckoned the Indians to come to them and bring them some fish. One of them had over his shoulder what was supposed only to be a stick: presently he pointed it to a bird that was flying past—a violent poo went forth—down came the bird to the ground. The Indians died!—as they revived, they questioned each other as to their state whether any were dead, and what each had felt.

“The whites then made signs for a fire to be lighted ; the Indians proceeded at once, according to their usual tedious practice, of rubbing two sticks together. The strangers laughed, and one of them, snatching up a handful of dry grass, struck a spark into a little powder placed under it. Instantly another poo!—and a blaze. The Indians died! After this the newcomers wanted some fish boiled: the Indians, therefore, put the fish and water into one of their square wooden buckets, and set some stones on the fire ; intending, when they were hot, to cast them into |he vessel, and thus boil the food. The whites were not satisfied with this way: one of them fetched a tin kettle out of the boat, put the fish and some water into it—and then, strange to say, set it on the fire. The Indians looked on with astonishment. However, the kettle did not consume ; the water did not run into the fire. Then, again, the Indians died!

“When the fish was eaten, the strangers put a kettle of rice on the fire; the Indians looked at each other, and whispered Alcshahn, akshahn! or, “Maggots, maggots!” The rice being cooked, some molasses was produced and mixed with it. The Indians stared and said, Coutree um tscilcah ahket, or “The grease of dead people.”

“The whites then tendered the rice and molasses to the Indians ; hut they only shrank away in disgust. Seeing this, to prove their integrity, they sat down and enjoyed it themselves. The sight stunned the Indians, and again they all died. Some other similar wonders were worked, and the profound stupor which the Indians felt each time to come over them, they termed death.

“The Indians’ turn had now come to make the white strangers die; they dressed their heads, and painted their faces. A Nok-nok or wonder-working spirit possessed them: they came slowly and solemnly, seated themselves before the whites, then suddenly lifted up their heads and stared; their reddened eyes had the desired effect—the whites died! ”

The “heart” is the word always used by them in speaking of motive, disposition, or feelings. If a person is angry, they say—“His heart is bad to them.” If they wish to express their kind feelings or intentions, they say—“Their heart is very good towards you.” And if the fish leave a place where they are usually caught, or it is a bad season, they say the fishes’ hearts are bad.

All the Indians, both men and women, wear ornaments in the ears, nose, and lips. These are made of shell or hone ; the commonest earrings worn by almost all, are bits of a blue shell like the inside of an oyster, and called in trade “kopose.” Hings of the same material passed through the cartilage of the nose are very common : the northern tribes wear- also very generally a small round shell, called the “hai-qua,” in appearance not unlike a piece of clay-pipe stem one or two inches long, stuck into their lower lips at an angle of 45° with the chin. Some also wear a piece of bone inside the lower lip, making it project in a horridly ugly way. Preparation for this, of course, has to be commenced while the “patient” is young: they first bore a hole in the hollow of the under lip, in which is put a piece of silver the shape of a pen. After some time this is taken out and an oval-shaped piece of wood inserted horizontally; after a time this becomes too small, and a larger piece is inserted, till, as a woman gets towards old age, she will have a piece of wood three inches long and two inches wide in the lip. Fortunately this custom is only practised among the northern tribes, for it makes a woman the most hideous creature imaginable. The lip-piece is concave on both sides, while the edge is grooved so as to keep it in its place; this sometimes answers the purpose of a spoon, and Mr. Duncan says he has seen an old woman put her food on it for a few seconds while it cooled, and then raising her lip, empty this semi-natural platter into her mouth. This lip, he says, is considered a mark of honour among these poor creatures: a woman’s rank among women—that is, as far as her word, opinion, or advice is concerned—is settled according to the size of her wooden lip; so that if a young woman dares to quarrel with an old one, the latter will not remind her of her youth, inexperience, and consequent unfitness to dictate to age, but will reproach her with the inferior size of her lip. Red is the colour most commonly used in painting the face; but sometimes black is applied. I have seen three or four canoes full of Haida Indians (from Queen Charlotte Island), each canoe holding 16 or 18 people, all black as my hat. The face is sometimes tatooed, but not so commonly as on the eastern side of the continent. For dress many now wear shirts and trowsers, purchased at the stations of the Hudson Bay Company; but the normal style is still a blanket brought round the body, and pinned with a wooden skewer on the shoulder, or held by the hand. On my first visit to this place, this was rather a picturesque costume, as they mostly wore native blankets made of dogs’ hair, and stained various colours; but now they use English blankets, and as they are always very dirty, the near effect is not pleasant, though they still look picturesque at a distance. Very small feet and well-made hands are common among them; as a rule, they all go bare-footed and bare-headed, though, as I have before mentioned, when travelling they wear mocassins. These are of no use, however, for keeping out wet; for, being made of plain deer-skin, they soon get quite soft and sloppy. No doubt many of the diseases so common among them are attributable to constant wet feet. Sometimes they wear caps or tie handkerchiefs round their heads, and in wet weather they frequently wear mushroom shaped hats made of the bark of the thuja, cut in narrow strips, plaited much like Panama straw, and painted with various devices. Their canoes are of all sizes, from frail things a man can hardly find room to sit in, to boats large enough to hold 30 or 40 people with their equipment. They are all made of single trees, although sometimes the very large ones have a bow and stern tacked on. After they cut the tree down they burn out the inside, and then finish it off and shape it with axe and knife. The models of some are beautiful, their shape and fashion varying according to the place they are required for. Thus all the Indians inside the island and northward of it have round and pointed sterns, while in the Strait of Fuca and on west coast of the island they have straight-up and down sterns, each being adapted to the waters in which they are used. The birch-bark canoes, made from the bark of Betula papyracea, and so celebrated in the interior and east of the Rocky Mountains are unknown, or at least unused, on the coast.

I must not omit to mention that most of the Indians are good shots at a fixed object; but they never think of firing at a bird on the wing. Nothing excites their admiration more than to see birds shot flying; but I could never get them to try it. No doubt a great reason for this is their scanty supply of powder and shot; they are always begging for these, and will barter almost anything for them. Their mode of approaching wild-fowl is very curious and characteristic: a man will take a small canoe and fill the bows with branches of evergreens, so as completely to conceal himself seated behind it. Through the middle of this hedge he points his gun, letting the barrel rest along the stem of the canoe. He then paddles the canoe very quietly along in the direction of a number of birds sitting on the water, taking care to keep the bows straight towards them: the birds are very sharp, and will swim across the canoe to ascertain if there is any deception ; but as they all go one way, the man is able to keep the canoe facing them, and they fancy it is a floating bush. So careful are these men of their powder, however, that they are not generally content to get within shot of one bird, but will manoeuvre about till they can get two or three in a line. I have seen them devote half a day to this, perhaps only firing once in several hours.

Tor vermin they set traps with large stones, very like our brick traps, except that they are open at both ends; this is put in some place where the animal is in the habit of passing, and falls on him as he runs under it.

To shoot deer, they usually ascertain the spot on some stream where the animals go to drink; they then select the first hollow tree within shot of the trail, and build up the entrance to it with bushes so as to shelter themselves from view. Towards evening or before dawn, they ensconce themselves in this tree, from whence they get a deliberate shot at the unsuspecting animal as he passes.

The value of the following extracts from Mr. Duncan’s letters to the Church Missionary Society respecting these Coast Indians is so great that, lengthy as they are, I will make no excuse for giving them to the reader.

“Sometimes slaves have to be sacrificed to satiate the vanity of their owners, or take away reproach. Only the other day we were called upon to witness a terrible scene of this kind. An old chief, in cool blood, ordered a slave to be dragged to the beach, murdered, and thrown into the water. His orders were quickly obeyed. The victim was a poor woman. Two or three reasons are assigned for this foul act: one is, that it is to take away the disgrace attached to his daughter, who has been suffering some time from a ball wound in the arm. Another report is, that he does not expect his daughter to recover, so he has killed his slave in order that she may prepare for the coming of his daughter into the unseen world. I think the former reason is the most probable.

“I did not see the murder, but, immediately after, I saw crowds of people running out of those houses near to where the corpse was thrown, and forming themselves into groups at a good distance away. This I learnt was from fear of what was to follow. Presently two bands of furious wretches appeared, each headed by a man in a state of nudity. They gave vent to the most unearthly sounds, and the two naked men made themselves look as unearthly as possible, proceeding in a creeping kind of stoop, and stepping like two proud horses, at the same time shooting forward each arm alternately, which they held out at full length for a little time in the most defiant manner. Besides this, the continual jerking their heads back, causing their long black hair to twist about, added much to their savage appearance.

“For some time they pretended to be seeking the body, and the instant they came where it lay they commenced screaming and rushing round it like so many angry wolves. Finally they seized it, dragged it out of the water, and laid it on the beach, where I was told the naked men would commence tearing it to pieces with their teeth. The two bands of men immediately surrounded them, and so hid their horrid work. In a few minutes the crowd broke again into two, when each of the naked cannibals appeared with half of the body in his hands. Separating a few yards, they commenced, amid horrid yells, their still more horrid feast. The sight was too terrible to behold. I left the gallery with a depressed heart. I may mention that the two bands of savages just alluded to belong to that class which the whites term £ medicine men/ The superstitions connected with this fearful system are deeply rooted here; and it is the admitting and initiating of fresh pupils into these arts that employ numbers, and excite and interest all, during the winter months. This year I think there must have been eight or ten parties of them, but each party seldom has more than one pupil at once. In relating their proceedings I can give but a faint conception of the system as a whole, but still a little will serve to show the dense darkness that rests on this place.

“I may mention that each party has some characteristics peculiar to itself; but, in a more general sense, their divisions are but three—viz., those who eat human bodies, the dog-eaters, and those who have no custom of the kind.

“Early in the morning the pupils would be out on the beach, or on the rocks, in a state of nudity. Each had a place in front of his own tribe; nor did intense cold interfere in the slightest degree. After the poor creature had crept about, jerking his head and screaming for some time, a party of men would rush out, and, after surrounding him, would commence singing. The dog-eating party occasionally carried a dead dog to their pupil, who forthwith commenced to tear it in the most doglike manner. The party of attendants kept up a low growling noise, or a whoop, which was seconded by a screeching noise made from an instrument which they believe to be the abode of a spirit. In a little time the naked youth would start up again, and proceed a few more yards in a crouching posture, with his arms pushed out behind him, and tossing his flowing black hair. All the while he is earnestly watched by the group about him, and when he pleases to sit down they again surround him and commence singing. This kind of thing goes on, with several little additions, for some time. Before the prodigy finally retires, he takes a run into every house belonging to his tribe, and is followed by his train. When this is done, in some cases he has a ramble on the tops of the same houses, during which he is anxiously watched by his attendants, as if they expected his flight. By-and-by he condescends to come down, and they then follow him to his den, which is signified by a rope made of red bark being hung over the doorway, so as to prevent any person from ignorantly violating its precincts. None are allowed to enter that house but those connected with the art: all I know, therefore, of their further proceedings is, that they keep up a furious hammering, singing, and screeching for hours during the day.

“Of all these parties, none are so much dreaded as the cannibals. One morning I was called to witness a stir in the camp which had been caused by this set. When I reached the gallery I saw hundreds of Tsimsheeans sitting in their canoes, which they had just pushed away from the beach. I was told that the cannibal party were in search of a body to devour, and if they failed to find a dead one, it was probable they would seize the first living one that came in their way; so that all the people living near to the cannibals’ house had taken to their canoes to escape being torn to pieces. It is the custom among these Indians to burn their dead; but I suppose for these occasions they take care to deposit a corpse somewhere, in order to satisfy these inhuman wretches.

“These, then, are some of the things and scenes which occur in the day during the winter months, while the nights are taken up with amusements—singing and dancing. Occasionally the medicine parties invite people to their several houses, and exhibit tricks before them of various kinds. Some of the actors appear as bears, while others wear masks, the parts of which are moved by strings. The great feature in their proceedings is to pretend to murder, and then to restore to life, and so forth. The cannibal, on such occasions, is generally supplied with two, three, or four human bodies, which he tears to pieces before his audience. Several persons, either from bravado or as a charm, present their arms for him to bite. I have seen several whom he has thus bitten, and I hear two have died from the effects.

“One very dark night I was told that there was a moon to see on the beach. On going to see, there was an illuminated disc, with the figure of a man upon it. The water was then very low, and one of the conjuring parties had lit up this disc at the water’s edge. They had made it of wax, with great exactness, and presently it was at the full. It was an imposing sight. Nothing could be seen around it; but the Indians suppose that the medicine party are then holding converse with the man in the moon. Indeed there is no wonder in the poor creatures being deluded, for the peculiar noises that were made, while all around was perfectly still, and the good imitation of the moon while all around was enveloped in darkness, seemed just calculated to create wild and superstitious notions. After a short time the moon waned away, and the conjuring party returned whooping to their house.

“Before any young persons can join these medicine parties they are supposed to go into the bush for some days, and be there alone, whence they receive their supernatural gifts. But I am inclined to believe that this is not strictly carried out, for it is also supposed that they are not visible when they come back: it therefore becomes an easy matter to conceal them in their houses for a short dime, and then publish a lie. The end of all these proceedings is the giving away property; so the chiefs reap the benefit. No person need think of becoming “Allied” until he or his friends have amassed considerable property, and are disposed to beggar themselves.

“One Sunday I was startled by a peculiar noise proceeding from the camp, and on going to see what was the cause, I observed a man, who, it seems, had finished his education as an “Allied,” and was now going to give away his goods. He was proceeding to a distant part of the camp, and stepping all the way like a proud unmanageable horse. Behind him were about fifteen or twenty men, all holding on to a kind of rope, which went round his waist. They were pretending to keep him back, or hold him from taking his flight. Presently this party was joined by other two, upon a similar errand, and -they now seemed to try which could make the greatest noise, or look the most unearthly. The three bands, after a good deal of manoeuvring, proceeded, I think, to the same chief’s house.

“1 think it is generally supposed that these parties I have described are the doctors of the Bed Indians, because their proceedings are called ‘medicine work,’ and they ‘medicine men;’ but I find that the medical profession is altogether a distinct business, and the, doctors a distinct class. ' After investigation of the matter, I am led to conclude that these medical practitioners are, for the most part, those who have themselves been visited*with some serious sickness, and have recovered; or else have been, at some time in their lives, exposed to great peril, but have escaped uninjured. For instance, if a man or woman is taken in a fit, and remains motionless for so long that they are concluded dead, should , such a one ultimately recover, that is the person who is regarded as competent to deal with diseases: for it is believed, that, during the period of unconsciousness, supernatural power and skill was vouchsafed them ; and also, by their recovering, it is concluded that they have successfully resisted the effects of bad medicine, or the evil workings of some malevolent being. Still I do not mean to say that all their doctors arise from these circumstances, but mostly so. I believe that any shrewd or eccentric man may, by fasting, successfully prognosticating, or otherwise acting so as to excite the superstitious reverence of the people in his favour, secure a footing in this lucrative profession.

“Next, as to the means employed by the doctors to recover patients. For pains in the body they employ a bag of hot ashes, after first placing a damp cloth on the skin. If the patient is afflicted with a pain in the head, they strike him on the place with small branches of the spruce-tree. For wounds they have a salve, but they seldom use it except in bad cases : the most ordinary method is simply to place a quantity of gum over the lips of the wound to keep them closed. For most of the diseases which afflict them, they have some herb or decoction which they give as a counteractant.

“But the chief thing relied upon and resorted to, in case of failure of other means, is incantation. The instrument used is a rattle, generally in the shape of a bird or a frog, in the body of which a few small stones are placed. This is whirled about the patient while a song is sung. Occasionally the doctor applies his ear, or his mouth, to the place where the pain or disorder chiefly rests. It is also very common, at this stage, to make incisions where the pain is felt, or to apply fire to the place by means of burning tinder made of dried wild flax. If relief follows these measures, the doctor asserts that he has extracted the foul substance that has done the mischief; which substance is supposed by them to be the bad or poisonous medicine some evil-disposed one had silently inserted into the invalid’s body. At such an announcement made by the doctor, the patient, and the patient’s friends, overjoyed at his success, liberally present him with such property as they have got. If, however, a relapse ensues, and the invalid dies, the doctor returns every particle of the property he has received. When no relief follows the first trial, a more furious attack is made another time. If still without effect, there is but little hope of the patient’s recovery.

“Another curious matter connected with these operations is, that when the doctor has got pretty warm in his work, he boldly asserts that he can see the soul of the patient, if it is present. For this he shuts his eyes for some time, and then pronounces his sentence. Either the soul is in its usual place, which is a good sign; or it is out of its proper place, and seems wanting to take its flight, which makes the patient’s case doubtful; or else it has flown away, in which case there is no hope for the invalid’s recovery. The bold deceiver does not even hesitate to tell the people that the soul is like a fly in shape, with a long curved proboscis.

“This people ascribe nearly all their bodily afflictions, and most deaths, to the secret working of malevolent persons. This being the case, when any person dies—if of any importance amongst them — and especially if suddenly, the friends of the deceased fix upon some one as the cause, either a slave, or a stranger just arrived in the camp, or, more probably still, a person with whom the deceased has lately quarrelled. Whoever the victim is, however, whether man or woman, nothing short of his or her life will satisfy the bereaved persons. They believe in two ways an evil-disposed person may effect his purpose. One is by placing some bad medicine in the meat or drink of his victim, or, if sick, by persuading the individual to drink a poisonous draught. The other way is by magic, and this is by far the most common method they suppose. Iu this case, they say that the deadly substance is transmitted from the hand of the destroyer to the body of his victim, without the latter having any perception of the event.

“Such superstition as this is well calculated to produce that distrust of each other which I find so prominent amongst them ; and also makes it somewhat dangerous for one to assist them a little with real medicine. I hear that several white persons—some of whom are American missionaries— have been murdered for attempting this kindness, all because their medicine did not prevent death. There has not been a case of that sort among the Indians here yet; but I see that the same superstitions which have led other Indians to commit murder are deeply rooted here, so that it behoves one to be cautious. I have already given medicine and advice to some, which the Lord has been pleased to bless: so that they are beginning to gain confidence and appreciate my coming amongst them. My efforts in this way have as yet been nearly all confined to the Fort people; but as the Indian women in here are generally the most influential in the tribe to which they belong, in gaining their confidence a great blow is struck at the prejudices of the people outside.

“If one Indian is vexed with another, the most effectual way of showing his displeasure, next to killing him, is to say to him (what would be in English), By and by, you will die. Not unfrequently the poor victim thus marked becomes so terrified that the prediction is verified. When this is the case, the friends of the deceased say that they have no doubt about the cause, and therefore (if they are able to meet the contest which may ensue) the prognosticator, -on the first opportunity, is shot for his passionate language.

“The young man named Clah, whom I have had to assist me in Tsimshean, only a little time before I came shot a woman, because by some silly expression she excited his belief that it was owing to her evil influence a piece of wood, which was being carried by some Indians, fell from their shoulders and seriously hurt one of them, a relative of his. Now I hear that this woman’s son (although Clah has paid him 30 blankets) is watching his opportunity to revenge her death. Thus is the stream of murder fed from time to time.

“In the majority of cases, I think the sick receive a great deal of attention from their friends. I have always found one or two nurses to an invalid, if the case was at all bad; the sympathy of the nurses, too, seemed very great. It seemed to me, however, that they never thought of washing the sick, for nearly all who had been laid up for any length of time were literally immured in dirt. If any one suggested the propriety of a good wash, they would immediately say they had no soap, which amounted to asking one to supply it, yet scarcely any are without ample means of purchasing it if they would.

“When a person dies, except in the case of a slave, very great lamentation is made by surviving friends. Their mourning lasts for several days. A few days ago, I saw a poor woman in the bush, at some distance behind the camp. She was sitting with her face towards the stump of a tree, and continued her bitter wailing for a long time. This is the second instance I have seen of this kind. Occasionally, mourners may be seen going about the beach. Only lately I saw a woman coming away from a house of death. She proceeded along the beach to where another tribe is settled, and continued her woful cry all the way. Persons whom she passed took no notice whatever of her; it seemed nothing strange to them.

“Soon after death the corpse is conveyed away in a canoe to a distant part of the beach, and there burned to ashes. Mourners accompany it, and they make the air to ring with their piercing cries all the time the body is consuming. The ashes are collected and placed in a little house appointed to receive them.

“A slave, after death, is at once placed in a canoe and thrown into the harbour, without any sorrow being expressed. The Tsimsheeans, I find, believe in two states after death : the one good, and the other bad; the morally good are translated to the one, and the morally bad are doomed to the other. The locality of the former they think to be above, and that of the latter is somewhere beneath. The enjoyment of heaven and the privations of hell they understand to he carnal.

“They do not suppose the wicked to be destitute of food any more than they were here, but they are treated as slaves and are badly clothed.

“What is very strange, they imagine that as the various seasons leave them they advance to the abode of the wicked. For instance, when the fish get out of the reach of their nets, they suppose they are then becoming the prey of the wicked beneath.

“The idea they entertain of God is that He is a great chief. They call him by the same term as they do their chiefs, only adding the word for above—thus, 'shimanyet’ is chief, and ‘lakkah' above; and hence the name of God with them is Shimanyet Lakkah. They believe that the Supreme Beiug never dies; that he takes great notice of what is going on amongst men, and is frequently angry and punishes offenders. They do not know who is the author of the Universe, nor do they expect that God is the author of their own being. They have no fixed ideas about these things, I fully believe; still they frequently appeal to God in trouble: they ask for pity and deliverance. In great extremities of sickness they address God, saying it is not good for them to die.

“Sometimes, when calamities are prolonged or thicken, they get enraged against God, and vent their anger against Him, raising then' eyes and hands in savage anger to Heaven, and stamping their feet on the ground. They will reiterate language which means ‘You are a great slave!’ This is their greatest term of reproach. By far the most prominent trait of character in this people is pride, yet many other of the corruptions of our fallen nature they exhibit in deplorable measure. Bevenge with them, which is their only way of adjusting wrongs, is so dire and determined that many years and change of circumstances cannot extinguish it. Several instances haB been known where it has burst forth in terrible vengeance more than twenty years after its birth, and simply because an opportunity to satisfy it never occurred before. But, as I said before, pride or conceit is the passion they most strikingly exhibit. It is astonishing what they will do or suffer in order to establish or maintain dignity. Yesterday a young man fell down, and cut himself a little with an axe. On arriving home, his father immediately announced his intention to destroy some property which was to save his son from any disgrace attached to the accident. 'When a few people or friends were collected to witness the brave act, the father would carry out his vow, with no small show of vanity. I hear that instances are numerous where persons who have been hoarding up property for ten, fifteen, or twenty years (at the same time almost starving themselves for want of clothing), have given it all away to make a show for a few hours, and to be thought of consequence.”

I come now to the Indians of the interior, of whom, however, I regret to say, much less is known than of those upon the coast.

At and about the entrance of the Fraser River is the Kwantlun tribe: they live in villages which extend along the banks of the river as far as Langley. Next to these, and extending from Langley to Yale, are the Smess, Chillwayhook, Pallalts, and Teates—which latter are called by the upper tribes Sa-chin-ko. These all appear, from their similarity of language and customs, to be branches of the Kwantlun tribe, although, as usual, their dialects differ considerably. They have villages placed on the tributary streams as well as the main river. The Smess Indians occupy the Smess river and lake, and the Chillwayhooks the river and lake of that name. In the summer, however, they nearly all congregate on the banks of the Fraser River to fish. As every village seems to have an old long-standing feud with some of their neighbours—which what has been said of their revengeful spirit readily accounts for—constant bickerings and frequent murders signalise these annual gatherings. For these reasons, and to guard against the incursions of the ooast-tribes for slaves, the permanent villages are all stockaded—a measure which, though more common here than on the coast, is sometimes resorted to there, as at Cape Mudge. It is a curious fact that, though living in a constant state of alarm, no Indians in this country ever keep watch at night. To be sure, they always have a number of barking curs al >out the lodges, but these are easily bought over by cunning foes, with food, &c., and thus their villages have no real protection against the night attacks which are sometimes made upon them. I have frequently suggested the propriety of keeping watch when in my travels we camped near strange villages, but never could get them to do it. I believe this to be from superstitious dread of spirits, as they are not the least afraid to be out at night looking for deer, fishing, or stealing.

Yale is the limit to the wanderings of the above-mentioned tribes, and at Spuzzum, a village six miles above the Canon, a race very different both in habits and language is found. These are the Nieouta-much or Nieoutamcens, a branch of a widely-extended tribe. They, with their cognate septs, the At-naks or Shuswap-much, occupy the Fraser River from Spuzzum to the frontier of that part of the country called by the Hudson Bay Company New Caledonia, which is within a few miles of Fort Alexandria (about 330 miles from the river’s mouth), making the extent of their wanderings about 250 miles.

From Thompson Biver other septs of this race—the Shu-swaps, Skowtous, Okanagans, Spokans, Skoi-el-poi (of Colville), Fend’oreilles, and Coeurs d’Aleines—occupy the country as far as the Flathead Basses of the Bocky Mountains, where the Sae-lies or Flatheads form the eastern portion of the race. The Rocky Mountains on one hand, and an imaginary line running cast and west 60 to 100 miles south of the parallel of 49° N. lat., may be said to deliue the tract occupied by these people between the Thompson River and the Flathead country.

Mr. A. C. Anderson, who has travelled a great deal in this country, estimates the number of Nicouta-meen and Sliuswap-rnuch Indians mustering annually on the Fraser at 6000 or 8000. He considers that in North-West America, generally, there is not more than one man to ten square miles, although this population is not by any means distributed evenly over the country, which would make it appear more dense in those parts best known. This estimate would give an Indian population of about 20,000, which I fancy is not far wrong.

Between the Eoeky Mountains, the Upper Columbia and its tributary the Killuspehn or Pend’oreille, and watered by an intermediate stream called the Kootanais River, is an angular piece of country peopled by a small, isolated tribe, bearing the same name as the last-mentioned river, on the banks of which they principally live. This country of the Ivootanais being very poor, they have to cross the Rocky Mountains for the buffalo, and when there they are constancy attacked, murdered, or driven back by the Blackfeet. Thus they are constantly diminishing. Isolated, and speaking a language of their own, it is not easy to imagine their origin ; but it appears probable that they once belonged to some more powerful southern tribe, from which they became cut off by the intervention of larger tribes. Mr. Anderson says they are brave and possess more than ordinary virtue. Their country is very difficult to get at, either by land or water, as the Kootanais River is too rapid for navigation, and only fordable or passable for horses in spring before the melting of the snow, and in the autumn when it is beginning to freeze again. In 1848 Mr. Anderson was travelling among these Indians, and he made his interpreter take a census, with the following results :—

The number of this tribe, however, is now probably reduced to about 500 or 600.

All the natives of the Upper Fraser are called by the Hudson Bay Company, and indeed generally, “Porteurs,” or carriers, and as I have shown, when speaking of travelling in this country, they well deserve the name. It originated from their bearing a corresponding designation among their northern neighbours, the “Beaver” Indians. They (the Beavers) call themselves Ta-cnlly, or Tah-killy, signifying “wanderers on the deep.” They form the western branch of the great Chipewyan tribe, a race whose wanderings extend from Fort Churchill on Hudson Bay, and thence far north coterminously with the Esquimaux of the coast.

In 1839 Mr. Anderson estimated the population of this northern district of British Columbia, then New Caledonia, as follows:—

Their number has probably been much decreased since that time, though from the wildness of this region and the absence of white men they may have kept up their numbers mueli better than the tribes nearer the coast have done. There is a curious currency used by the Hudson Bay Company in trading with these natives, viz. Haiqua shell, which I have mentioned as being worn in the under-lip of the northern Coast Indians. This little shell is obtained off Nootka Sound. It is found clinging in clusters to the rocks in deep water, and is dragged up by the Indians with long poles and hooks. They (the Nootkas) sell them to the Company at Fort Rupert and other coast posts, and they are sent up to the interior to be used as money; the inland Indians having a great partiality for them, and using them in largo strings, much in the same way, I fancy, as the Eastern North American Indians use the celebrated wampum-belts.

Almost all the tribes mentioned in the above census inhabit the country west of the Fraser River, or between it and the coast, and they all visit the coast more or less frequently, their journeys depending chiefly upon the supply of salmon, &c., in their own districts. The routes by which they go are as yet little known. Some have been explored lately, and one or two by earlier employes of the Hudson Bay and North West Companies, including among their number Sir A. M'Kenzie. Of these, however, it will be remembered that I have spoken when describing the inlets along the coast, and discussing the probability of a practicable route being found from the sea to the upper part of British Columbia, from the head of some one or other of them. Some of the interior tribes spend half their year inland and half at the coast: for instance, the ‘‘Loquilt” Indians have their home in the winter on Lake Anderson and the surrounding district, whence they descend to the coast in Jervis Inlet in the summer; wdiile the Chilcotin Indians spend much of their time at Bellhoula in the Bentinck Inlet.

The natives eastward of the Fraser, viz. the Skowtous, Shuswap, Okanagan, Ac., own numbers of horses, and are for the most part mounted. I have already, while narrating my travels in British Columbia, alluded to the feeling of respect which the traveller entertains generally towards mounted Indians. After being used to the dwarfed natives of the coast, whose limbs have assumed almost the shape of the canoe that is their constant home, it is startling to come among, the fine athletic Indians of the interior, and to behold the skill and courage with which they manage their half-wild horses, and train themselves in the sports of peace for war. These tribes, as I have before said, are not addicted to slavery as a trade, which probably conduces much to their superior moral condition. Virtue is not, however, I fear, much more regarded as a principle and motive of action among these poor people than by the Indians of the coast, although their comparative seclusion and freedom from foreign influences preserve them from that utter abandonment of decency which is found near the white settlements. I remember discussing this question, when I was staying at Fort Kamloops, with an employe of the Company, who had been eight or ten years in the country; and he said he had only heard of one instance of an Indian woman expressing any other ground for chastity than the fear of some man, father or husband. In this solitary case, he said, upon the man assuring her that her deeds would never be known, she said, There is One who knows everything; and as she spoke she pointed to the sky. I think he said this girl was an Okanagan. Mr. Anderson, whom I have before quoted, asserts that these Indians are much more virtuous than those of the coast, but from the conversations I have had with various traders living among them, I am inclined to fear that any difference there may be, is, as I have said above, owing to force of circumstances rather than to any fixed principle.

As may readily be supposed, the tastes of these Indians for hunting and riding tends to make them less industrious than the more sedentary Coast natives, and they are, I believe, less provident. Since the discovery of gold, especially, many have taken to gold-washing in the summer instead of laying by a winter stock, and the result has been that, during the severity of winter, they have died of starvation in great numbers. Their principal food is salmon, venison, bear, wild sheep, and berries, mosses, and lichens. The principal of these latter is the black lichen (X. jubatus), called by them Whyelkine, of which I have already spoken.

Far inland, and occasionally even in the neighbourhood of the coast, may still be seen the deer-skin dress, ornamented with beads and porcupine-quills, in which Indians are always represented in pictures; but shirts and trowsers are so easily obtained, and save so much trouble, that most of the men now wear them, while the women use blankets, generally white, though sometimes blue or red, and fastened in the same way.

They also make capes of bark, similar to their mats. These are generally trimmed with fur round the edge, and go over the head like a South American poncho. They only reach to the elbows, and are seldom worn except in wet weather. Like the Sea-shore Indians, they generally go bare-headed, although many may be seen >wearing the blue cap with a leather peak, commonly used by mariners, and ornamented with some feathers or ribbons. Mocassins are much more generally worn than at the coast: these are sometimes very neatly ornamented with beads, but ofteu they are mere pieces of deer-skin laced round the foot. Frequently, however, they ride about barefooted, holding the piece of cord, which serves both as stirrup-leather and stirrup, between the first and second toes. They occasionally wear leggings made of cloth, and very prettily ornamented with beads. Nearly all use the Spanish wooden saddle, which they make with much skill; and the bridle is a simple cord, often the hair of the wild sheep, for it cannot be called wool, plaited. The middle of this is passed through the horse’s mouth, and hitched round his lower jaw, and the ends brought up on each side of his neck.

In their huts or lodges, which are similar to those of the coast, they have the same mats of cypress or cedar bark. Of their feasts and ceremonies I know little: their fashion of exchanging presents, however, resembles that of the Coast Indians. Their medicine-feasts are also much the same, and, like the others, they all wear charm-bags round their necks.

The medicine-bag charm ordinarily worn is small, but on feasts and great occasions the chiefs and medicine-men wear very large ones. As a rule, nothing can be done without the aid of the medicine-men and their mummeries. The bag I have spoken of is, I believe, generally made of the skin of some animal, bird, or reptile, as the beaver, otter, polecat, or weasel; eagle, magpie, or hawk; snake, or toad. Anything— dry grass, leaves, &c.—is stuffed into it, and it is carefully sewn up and ornamented.

Before a young man is admitted to be a man and a warrior, he has to get his medicine, which he does, or is supposed to do, by roaming about the woods, fasting and praying to the great spirit to help him to medicine, much in the same way, though to a less extent, as the medicine-men prepare themselves for the higher mysteries. His medicine-animal is the first animal, bird, or reptile he dreams-of during this process; and, having dreamt of it, he immediately kills one, and it becomes his medicine for ever. His bag is or should be made of this animal’s skin; but there is much trickery in all these matters.

Among the principal of those medicine-tricks which I have omitted to speak of is that of rain-making. In most of the valleys in which the Indians live they suffer occasionally from want of rain. It constantly pours on the hills around, without a drop falling in the valleys. There is nothing for which greater credit is got by a medicine-man than being a skilful rain-maker. Of course if the clouds do not gather or break at once, the rain-makers have only to go on with their ceremonies until they will. This they manage to do by persuading the others that the Great Spirit is offended; and when they see that rain is at hand, they redouble their energies, winding up, when it is on the point of falling, with some still more frenzied appeal to the Great Spirit, and sometimes, I have been told, shooting an arrow into the cloud to burst it, when it is evident the rain is on the point of descending in torrents. The Indians never appear to lose their faith in the operator’s power, however long he may have kept them waiting; but as all the shrewder men of the tribe are or desire to be medicine-men, this is not much to bo wondered at.

The children of all these tribes have their heads flattened, more or less, and the women carry them in the same curious little cradles slung at their backs: these are made, I believe, of the bark of cypress, and look like little canoes. The child lies at full length, and the sides of the cradle are sufficiently high to enable the mother to lace it in by a cord passed from side to side, a small block being put at one end as a pillow. When the mother is travelling she carries the cradle on her back in a nearly upright position, with the head just appearing above her shoulder; but if she is working, she suspends the infant from a pliant branch of a tree, or sticking a pole in the ground at a slight angle hangs the cradle, sometimes upright, sometimes horizontally, on the end of it. They move pole and cradle so as to keep it near them, and every now and then give it a swing, so that it rocks up and down. It is said that when children die they are often put in some lake or pool in their cradles and left to float about them, the natives regarding the water as sacred ever after; but I fancy this is more common on the east side of the mountains than the west.

Like the Coast Indians, they frequently bury their dead in trees, and whenever they are laid on the ground they always cover the lid of the coffin with stones. I have heard this custom attributed, as I have before said, to some instinctive feeling that the dead will rise again ; but I am inclined to believe it is only done to protect them from the wild animals of the forest. I have seen some coffins also raised on posts, six or eight feet above the ground, -when there were no trees to put them in. I do not think they are ever guilty of burying alive, though, as I have said of the Coast natives, they are very careless of and cruel to the old men and women when they get past work, and will often leave them to starve.

The dialects of the Indians of the interior are numerous as among those of the island and shore. When I was at Pavilion, on the Upper Fraser, a man who had been there many years, and who had travelled much among them, told me that between that place and Alexandria, a distance of some 120 miles, there were nine dialects spoken, and that these differed so much as to be almost distinct languages. It will be many years before much more than this is likely to be known of them. Indeed, it is probable, if not certain, if the white emigration continues and the colony progresses, that, before any opportunity of the kind comes, the tribes who use them will have almost, if not entirely, vanished from the face of the earth.

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