Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The Whaling Indians: Legendary Hunters - West Coast Legends and Stories

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The Whaling Indians: Legendary Hunters - West Coast Legends and Stories

Article excerpt

Edward Sapir, Morris Swadesh, Alexander Thomas, John Thomas, and Frank Williams, The Whaling Indians: Legendary Hunters - West Coast Legends and Stories, Part 9 of the Sapir-Thomas Nootka texts told by Sa:ya:ch'apis, William, Frank Williams, Big Fred, Captain Bill and Qwishanishim, Mercury Series Ethnology Paper 139 (Gatineau: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2003), xxvi + 431pp. Paper. ISBN 0-660-19167-9.

This selection of 28 stories and myths from Nuu-chah-nulth sources, is a part of the series collected (some on wax cylinder recordings) by Edward Sapir and his assistants between 1913 and 1916. These narratives include stories of whaling, whaling songs, the first use of crabs as food, seal and porpoise hunting, and salmon fishing. An introduction provides contextual detail about the gathering of these tales and some explanatory and interpretive comments. The collection is split into two approximately equal sections, the first with text in English, footnotes and additional notes, and the second with transcriptions of the Nuu-chah-nulth language. Maps and photographs of Vancouver Island and Barkley Sound, and photographs of carvings, clubs and whaling equipment illustrate the text.

The introduction draws attention to the rituals of whaling, ceremony, and magic and to the way in which the plots reveal concerns with hierarchy and rivalry. The tales are multi-layered, with myth, swift action, triumph, tragedy and humour all appearing at different points. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.