The Origin of the Wolf Ritual: The Whaling Indians: West Coast Legends and Stories — Part 12 of the Sapir-Thomas Nootka Texts
Edited by Eugene Arima, Terry Klokeid, and Katherine Robinson
June 2007, ISBN 978-0-660-19705-0
Mercury Series, Ethnology 144
286 pp., 15 illustrations, 17 x 24 cm, paperback
This last segment of the Sapir-Thomas Nootka texts includes three first-hand accounts of the Tlkwa:na, or Wolf Ritual, a principal ceremony 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 Tlkwa:na of 1910; his correspondence with his chief interpreters Alex Thomas and Frank Williams; and autobiographical stories by Alex Thomas.