By Harry Assu
Harry Assu, a first-rate of the Lekwiltok - the southernmost tribe of the Kwagiulth state - used to be born in 1905 in Cape Mudge, Quadra Island, British Columbia. His father used to be Billy Assu, some of the most well known chiefs of the Northwest, who led his humans from a conventional lifestyle into glossy prosperity. in addition to being a relatives chronicle, Harry Assu's reminiscences inform the little-known tale of the Lekwiltok from mythical instances to the current. Drawing at the oral traditions of his humans, Harry Assu narrates the tale of the "Great Flood" which gave sacred sanction to territories settled by way of them. Hand-drawn and historic maps illustrate his account of coastal alliances and raids by way of different tribes during the last centuries and supply an knowing of the present land and sea claims of the Kwagiulth kingdom. Supernatural beings inhabited the worlds of his ancestors and of Assu's boyhood, and he recollects encounters with birds and whales which held specific importance for his kinfolk. His description of a newer event - his personal potlatch in 1984 - may be the main whole checklist of a contemporary potlatch. His account of the seizure of potlatch regalia in 1922, the jailing of the leaders and the next recovery of those relatives treasures is an extraordinary view from within Indian tradition. Harry Assu positioned his religion in schooling and welcomed the efforts of lecturers despatched through the Methodist Missionary Society. He is still an elder and supporter of the United Church at Cape Mudge. Symbolizing the success of his tribe in bringing into concord a conventional tradition with advertisement fishing, within which he used to be concerned for sixty years, Harry Assu reminisces in regards to the outdated cannery days at the coast and tells of the continued fight through his humans to take care of a spot within the smooth fishing undefined. "Assu of Cape Mudge" is illustrated with drawings of supernatural occasions by means of artist and writer Hilary Stewart which have been drawn close to Cape Mudge whereas Harry Assu defined the dramatic occurrences. The Kwakwala phrases were transcribed by way of Peter Wilson, with an entire checklist of language organization, that means, and non-compulsory spellings. additionally integrated within the ebook and of normal curiosity are an appendix of old stories advised by way of the Lekwiltok and a genealogical chart of the Assu relatives. This own memoir through a major local chief of British Columbia is for anthropologists, historians, and all people with an curiosity in local reviews and autobiography. pleasure Inglis is a consultant in coastal Indian tradition, with a selected curiosity within the paintings, fable, and rite of the Kwagiulth state. She has lived on Quadra Island when you consider that 1974 and often teaches carrying on with schooling classes.
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Additional resources for Assu of Cape Mudge: Recollections of a Coastal Indian Chief
They were warriors. Our people, the We-Wai-Kai of Cape Mudge, were the first of the Lekwiltok bands on the Mainland to move into the territory on Dis- Organization of My People 17 covery Passage between Vancouver Island and Quadra Island where we are now. We were gone from our winter village near Jackson Bay when they surveyed for Indian reserves in our Lekwiltok territory. So although Tekya in Jackson Bay is very important to our people, we don't have a reserve there. The We-Wai-Kum and Kwaikah Bands moved their people down from the Mainland to Campbell River more slowly.
It is our custom to distribute it to our various families. It is not sold. The oil is costly where it is sold because it is scarce and people want it. The Kwaikah band of the Lekwiltok must have been the highest in rank in the early days. They numbered around two thousand when they first moved into Georgia Strait and settled around Phillips Arm. The Comox; too, were very big at the time when they started moving into Courtenay Bay. Those two bands were the worst hit when the epidemics struck this coast.
There were once gravehouses at the south end of the village at Cape Mudge before the graveyard was laid out, but that was before my time. Further around the Bay from that burial place at Mohun Creek was Lamb's railroad camp on Menzies Creek. Map 8 Campbell River to Salmon River. MacGregor/Stewart, 1985 Our Local Waters 29 We went up into Johnstone Strait to take salmon from the fish weir built in the mouth of Little Bear River north of Rock Bay. That was the only weir still in use by the old people when I was a boy.