Nootka and Quileute Music

Nootka and Quileute Music

Nootka and Quileute Music

Nootka and Quileute Music

Excerpt

The songs of the sea are here presented and their structure compared with that of the Indian songs from prairie, woodland, high plateau, and desert which have previously been studied. These are songs of whalers who went far out on the ocean in their wooden canoes and brought home the mighty trophies of their chase. They were men of great physical strength and they sang of the thunderbird, to whom they looked for help. They were warriors, cutting off the heads of the enemy, and they held the potlatch with lavish generosity of gifts. In pageantry they found a natural expression, yet many of their songs contain an exquisite poetry and delicacy of thought.

This material was collected at Neah Bay, Wash., on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, near Cape Flattery, during the summers of1923 and 1926. On both trips the writer had the helpful companionship of her sister,Margaret Densmore.

To her faithful interpreter, Mrs.Hazel Parker Butler, and to all who assisted in the work of collecting this material, the writer extends her grateful acknowledgment.

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