New Publication Release
The Whaling Indians. West Coast Legends and Stories.
The Origin of the Wolf Ritual.
Part 12 of the Sapir-Thomas Nootka Texts.
Told by Sa:ya:ch’apis and Tko:tisim.
Prepared by Edward Sapir, Morris Swadesh, Alexander Thomas, John Thomas, and Frank Williams.
Edited by Eugene Arima, Terry Klokeid, and Katherine Robinson.
Mercury Series, Ethnology 144
286 pages, 9 photos, 6 maps
This last segment of the Sapir-Thomas Nootka texts includes three first-hand accounts of the Tlo:kwa:na, or Wolf Ritual, principal ceremonial of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The ritual, which takes several days to enact, is described in detail, from the howling of the Wolves in human form, to the abduction of children to their forest lair and the return of these initiates to perform newly learned dances. Also included are Sapir’s field record of a Tlo:kwa:na of 1910; his correspondence with his chief interpreters Alex Thomas and Frank Williams; and autobiographical stories by Alex Thomas.