The Origin of the Wolf Ritual

The Whaling Indians, West Coast Legends and Stories, Part 12 of the Sapir-Thomas Nootka Texts

Compiled by Edward Sapir
Edited by Eugene Y. Arima, Terry Klokeid & Katherine Robinson
Categories: Social Science
Series: Mercury Series (0316-1854)
Publisher: Canadian Museum of History
Paperback : 9780660197050, 286 pages, May 2007

Table of contents

AbstractResumeList of MapsIntroduction

Texts and Translations?E?im Tlo:kwa:na / Origin of the Wolf Ritual (First Version) - Translation

?E?im Tlo:kwa:na Ch?is?ath / Che?is?ath Version of Tlo:kwa:na Origin - Translation

Topa:tminhokw?i Sa:ya:ch'apis / Some of Sa:ya:ch'apis's Privileges in Potlatches and Winter Dances - Translation

?Otshintl Qwayats'i:k Hitats'o?asop / The Hitats'o?aqsop Princess Haw'ilma?otl who eloped with a Wolf Chief - Translation

Appendix A. Additional information from the "Sapir Notes"Appendix B. Tlo:kwa:na given at Ho:pach'as?ath, November 1910Appendix C. Sapir-Alex Thomas and Sapir-Frank Williams lettersAppendix D. Alex Thomas: stories from his lifeNotesReferences


This last segment of the Sapir-Thomas Nootka texts includes three first-hand accounts of the Tlkwa: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 ?olves?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? 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.