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 was once Billy Assu, the most popular chiefs of the Northwest, who led his humans from a conventional lifestyle into smooth prosperity. in addition to being a kinfolk chronicle, Harry Assu's memories 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 via them. Hand-drawn and old maps illustrate his account of coastal alliances and raids by means of different tribes over the last centuries and supply an knowing of the present land and sea claims of the Kwagiulth state. Supernatural beings inhabited the worlds of his ancestors and of Assu's boyhood, and he recollects encounters with birds and whales which held specific value for his relatives. His description of a newer adventure - his personal potlatch in 1984 - is likely to be the main entire list of a latest potlatch. His account of the seizure of potlatch regalia in 1922, the jailing of the leaders and the following recovery of those kinfolk treasures is a unprecedented view from inside of Indian tradition. Harry Assu positioned his religion in schooling and welcomed the efforts of academics 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 standard tradition with advertisement fishing, during which he used to be concerned for sixty years, Harry Assu reminisces concerning the outdated cannery days at the coast and tells of the continued fight via his humans to take care of a spot within the smooth fishing undefined.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 that have been drawn close to Cape Mudge whereas Harry Assu defined the dramatic occurrences. The Kwakwala phrases were transcribed via Peter Wilson, with an entire checklist of language organization, which means, and not obligatory spellings. additionally incorporated within the e-book and of common curiosity are an appendix of old stories informed by way of the Lekwiltok and a genealogical chart of the Assu kinfolk. This own memoir through a tremendous local chief of British Columbia is for anthropologists, historians, and all people with an curiosity in local experiences and autobiography. pleasure Inglis is a expert in coastal Indian tradition, with a specific curiosity within the artwork, fantasy, and rite of the Kwagiulth state. She has lived on Quadra Island on account 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
It had no head or tail. It shot up out of the water and sunk back in again. Some said it was a giant squid. It would have to be overgrown all right for we could see it jumping all the way from Cape Mudge! The last time I saw it, I was heading from Quathiaski Cove to Vancouver in my boat, and I passed by only five hundred yards away. It was a monster four to five feet in diameter and forty feet long. It was so strong! It was leaping thirty feet into the air beginning in a northwesterly direction and making a big circle about one-half mile round to where it started.
1 was the reserve of the Walitsum of Salmon River. R. 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) belong to the We-Wai-Kum and Kwaikah at their old village sites on the Mainland. R. 11 on the Campbell River where they live now. Our band, the We-Wai-Kai, owns four reserves on Quadra Island (formerly Valdez). R. 7, 8; 9, and 10. Number 10, Cape Mudge, is our village. R. 12 at Quinsam, a river flowing into the Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Both Cape Mudge and Quinsam are settled by our people though fewer families live at Quinsam.
R. 11 on the Campbell River where they live now. Our band, the We-Wai-Kai, owns four reserves on Quadra Island (formerly Valdez). R. 7, 8; 9, and 10. Number 10, Cape Mudge, is our village. R. 12 at Quinsam, a river flowing into the Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Both Cape Mudge and Quinsam are settled by our people though fewer families live at Quinsam. Both are run by the We-Wai-Kai band. A head man of the Loughborough people, We-Kai-Kum band, was still alive when I was seventeen years old in 1922.