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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/201

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187
UP THE SKEENA RIVER.

stockade of the company's post, with its two bastions at opposite corners, and the blockhouse in the center of the inclosure, but now hidden by the store which stands in front of it. The stockade was put up in 1891, when an Indian uprising was feared throughout the length of the river.

Wherever you find a trading post and a missionary you can not hope to find people who retain much of their native life or who are of great value to anthropology. But still Hazelton was sufficiently primitive to be of interest in many respects. In matters of dress the Indians are almost on a footing with the whites, but they still make a curious garment for winter's use which is worn by nearly all of the interior tribes. This is a blanket made out of long, narrow strips of rabbit hide, and is warm, heavy, and extremely durable. We were fortunate enough to find a woman who was engaged in

PSM V54 D201 Tsimishian shaman ceremonial bow and arrow.png
Tsimshian Shaman's Ceremonial Bow and Arrow.

making one of these curious garments on a most rude and primitive loom. Other garments are still occasionally made of Indian hemp, which grows wild and in abundance. This is beaten and pounded and then spun into fine thread, and woven into the desired form.

In former days the Indians used large quantities of the wool of the mountain sheep in making the beautiful chilcat blankets that formed an important part of the chief's costume, but now the Indians buy most of their wool. Its chief uses are for sashes and belts, which are still worn and made after the fashion of former days. Of other garments of daily use, except moccasins, there is nothing remaining. There are a few remnants of ceremonial costumes still in existence, and by a bit of good fortune we were enabled to secure the complete paraphernalia of a shaman, or Indian doctor, who had only recently renounced his native practices and joined Mr. Fields's band of Christians. In the outfit thus acquired were rattles, charms, blankets, masks, and headdresses of various kinds. From another individual we secured the complete costume of a member of the fraternity, or secret society, of Dog Eaters. The Tsimshians have four such societies, and the Dog Eaters stand third in rank, being surpassed only by the Man Eaters