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down to the sides, the fore-arm extended upwards, and the hand and fingers held flat with the palm up. After this had lasted some time, and the Indians of the two tribes had mingled freely in various groups, the last act and complete consummation of good fellowship was completed by an old Opichesaht coming forward on the house-roof, and shouting welcome to the Seshahts who were below. At this moment the Opichesahts ran down and performed the friendly act (always done to welcome guests) of assisting to haul up the canoes upon the beach.
At this moment of greatest friendship, we had an opportunity of contrasting the pretended animosity of the earlier part of the day with an exhibition of real anger, which at one time assumed a very serious aspect. One of the Opichesahts, in the friendly exercise of his strength while hauling at a canoe, unwittingly pulled off the projecting nose or bow, which in the canoes of this part of the coast forms a piece by itself. In a moment a shout was raised, and he was grappled by the owner. At first there were a good many who tried to separate the combatants; but as the excitement increased men ranged themselves on the sides of their friends, and every moment the storm of lowering brows and crowd of fighting-men increased. I saw the massive face of old Keekean, one of the Seshaht chiefs, as he began to press into the crowd. We touched him and told him it was foolish work, and asked him not to join in. In a moment his features relaxed into a good-natured laugh. With another, an Opichesaht, of a generally good character, but known for his fierceness, we were not so successful. He was very stern and angry, and we could not get him to smile, and we noticed that he carried a small knife concealed in his hand. To the general absence of knives was probably owing the fact that the quarrel had no serious termination.
After a considerable time had been spent on it, and some of the more respectable and peaceable Seshahts had been driven away by the prospects of a general fight, a partial pacification was made between the angry men, and though the quarrel was now and again stirred up with the strife of tongues, chiefly carried on by women, a hearing was at last gained for a Seshaht orator, who spoke with great force and at considerable length. Peace was restored by an exchange of presents—on the Seshaht side, five blankets given by the chief, on that of the Opichesahts, a new canoe by the man who had been the cause of the injury. The vulgar expedient of deciding the amount of the actual damage would never enter into the heads of these people; it was not the injury done to the canoe, but the pride of the man who owned it which had to be paid for.
I may mention here that those who would properly appreciate the Indian character must make proper allowance for their degradation, but be sufficiently on guard against their hostility; it is a great lesson to see them not only in their moments of friendship, or quiet guile, but also when transported by rage. Reason appears for the time to be quite obliterated, and there seems to be no restriction nor check but superior force to prevent their uncontrolled passions proceeding to the greatest extremity.
With this exception, the whole proceedings, both before and afterwards, were carried on with the greatest good humour. Quarrelling among Indians is serious, and perhaps for that very reason rare. To this I may add, that neither by night nor by day was there the slightest approach to indecency. Of course, the nudity not unfrequently exhibited is not in accordance with our notions of delicacy, and, in fact, leads to a coarseness of mind and degraded condition; at the same time it is accompanied by the most entire absence of selfconsciousness.
Up to this time about eighteen good and perfectly new blankets had been given away by the chief of the Seshahts, but only two or three by the chief of the Opichesahts. These, however, were only the preliminaries. The people of both tribes now repaired to the house of the host. The Seshahts ranging themselves round one end and the Opichesahts the other. All were seated on the boxes placed round the room, the rest of the space being left for the dancers.
THE “ PACHEETL.” This, which constituted the longest part of the entertainment, consisted of a mutual giving away, accompanied by dancing and short speeches. In some parts, as will afterwards be noticed, it differed markedly from the other sort of giving, which goes by the name of noosheetl. The Seshahts commenced the pacheetl. One tall Indian, with a good voice and ear and ready hand, was the conductor of his tribe. He gave the time and exerted himself to keep things going in a proper manner. A good many of the Seshahts gave presents of blankets and smaller things to their friends of the other tribe. First came the giver's dance, in which he did not usually figure alone, but generally in company with one or two more. The whole tribe were seated round, beating time with sticks with all their force, and with a song by one and afterwards taken up by all. When the dance was over, one or more men (but never the giver himself) came forward with the presents; one always made a short speech, named the person for whom each gift was intended, and generally said something in praise of the giver. There were always persons ready to run forward with great appearance of alacrity to receive the gift, and the answer, “Klak-koh howilth!” was shouted back. Howillh is the word for “chief,” and klak-koh; though I do not know how it should be translated, is evidently intended as a gracious acknowledgment. Many persons made gifts, and consequently there were many songs and many dances, which lasted a long time. Some of the dancers were light and graceful in their movements. In some instances performers wore wooden masks, made effective in appearance by black paint. The most striking of these representations were of deer or other pointed-nosed animals, which were not worn over the whole face, but set upon the forehead like a horn. The unicorn sort of appearance which this gave the face was very striking, and was much added to by the style of dance in which they were used. In these dances the performers by turns 'seemed to be pursuer and pursued, and while they sped quickly round in one direction, turned the head sharply, and with a searching gaze in each other's faces fled in another direction. In these dances, in which speed, watchfulness, and pursuit seemed to be objects aimed at, the performers generally had a bunch of eagles' feathers in their hands, which they shook out, and threw out before themselves with a quick vibratory motion. The feathers probably either represented wings supposed to belong to the dancers, or were merely intended as emblems of rapid flight. Two young boys were among those who made presents, and therefore had to dance. One was a bold, stout youth who, if he felt any natural diffidence, hid all his blushes under a mass of red paint, which made his countenance glow like a furnace. He wore one of the horn-like masks on his forehead, and did his part very well, having the conductor himself for his company in the dance. The other boy was younger and more timid, and seemed to feel his conspicuous position, as he stood up alone to dance with all eyes on him, and all hands and voices ready to give the tune to his steps. He danced without any freedom of action, but with great care, and seemed very glad when it was over.
The largest number of presents made at this time was by a young girl who had reached the stage of womanhood. She danced the chees cheesa in company with the other Seshaht women, her great modesty keeping her behind all the rest, so that one could hardly get a sight of her features. Her gifts consisted of eight blankets, nine bunches of brass wire bracelets, with from three to six bracelets in a bunch, five long strings of beads, one bunch of brazen ear-ornaments, and one coat. In the next dance a small child (the grandson of Wickaninish, a chief only a few months dead, and who had been second to the present chief of the tribe) was carried about in the arms of one of the performers. The child's gift seemed at first a curious one. One of the Seshahts came forward, making a speech, and finally presented a piece of bark, which was taken by an Opichesaht with as much alacrity as any of the other things. This piece of bark represented a canoe, which could not have been brought conveniently into the building. It was, in fact, a sort of promissory note payable "on demand.” Scarcely anything was given away but what was really good and worth receiving. The two or three exceptions to this rule consisted of an old blanket and one or two very small strings of ornaments, which fell to the lot of a little boy, a slave of one of the Opichesahts. This child, though despised, and I dare say a good deal kicked about by the other children, was not really badly off, nor was he in danger of being overworked, for to set him full tasks would be a mental exertion far too great for his masters. While these small gifts were being given and received, a sort of murmur of appreciation was heard among the Seshahts, especially from the women ; but the Opichesahts seemed rather to dislike it, as lowering to the dignity of the free-born recipients of presents. To me it was the most humanising feature of the day. Two of the Seshahts' gifts towards the end of their part of the entertainment were made with great mystery. Once and again men came forward with their present concealed in a blanket, those who received it having also a blanket in their hands, so that the presents passed from one to another without any one seeing them. These gifts were really two masks, which were not exposed to public view, that they might appear with more effect when the Opichesahts began their part of the pacheetl. From the time that they entered the house up to this point, the Seshahts had given away about fifty blankets, besides a canoe, and a good many other presents of various sorts, such as camp-kettles, bracelets, muskets, &c.
At a lull in the entertainment a noted hunter came round and presented each of the women with a cake of elks' tallow to dress her hair with, and afterwards distributed pieces of dried venison; after which, teased-out bark of the cedar (Thuja gigantea) was handed round in lieu of napkins, for the guests to wipe their hands and mouths on. The heat and noise combined, superadded to the labour I had undergone during the few previous days, had rather inclined me to drowsiness, and I nodded frequently, to the great amusement of the wide-awake women and youngsters, who seemed to watch for this kind of weariness with keen attention; and immediately on noticing it, those nearest would nod in a comical manner, and shout good-naturedly that “Yakapis” (or the bearded one) was falling asleep. A good many of the guests were in much the same condition, and by general consent the assembly was adjourned, and though desultory eating had been going on at intervals, the company now separated to sup with their different friends. We had been somewhat afraid of the items of
Indian hospitality, and had rather hastily declined a meal, which we were sorry for when we saw the great pot of well-cooked venison from which each supplied himself. Later in the evening, Quatjenam, the second chief, who had, in company with his wife, been my companion
in many explorations on Sproat's Lake, invited us to pass the evening in his lodge. A clean mat of cedar-bark and rushes, rolled up at one end into a pillow, was spread on one of the raised benches on either side of the fire ; new blankets were produced from a box, where they had lain since they were bought from the Alberni trader, to wait a potlatch, and a most comfortable bed to weary men was made up. Quatjenam and his wife reposed on the corresponding