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Assu of Cape Mudge: Recollections of a Coastal Indian Chief by Harry Assu

By Harry Assu

Harry Assu, a primary of the Lekwiltok - the southernmost tribe of the Kwagiulth country - was once born in 1905 in Cape Mudge, Quadra Island, British Columbia. His father used to be Billy Assu, the most well known chiefs of the Northwest, who led his humans from a standard lifestyle into smooth prosperity. in addition to being a family members chronicle, Harry Assu's memories inform the little-known tale of the Lekwiltok from mythical occasions 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 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 remembers encounters with birds and whales which held specific value for his family members. His description of a newer event - his personal potlatch in 1984 - may be the main entire checklist of a latest 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 inside of Indian tradition. Harry Assu placed his religion in schooling and welcomed the efforts of lecturers despatched via the Methodist Missionary Society. He continues to be 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 previous cannery days at the coast and tells of the ongoing fight via his humans to take care of a spot within the glossy fishing undefined. "Assu of Cape Mudge" is illustrated with drawings of supernatural occasions by way 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 by means of Peter Wilson, with a whole checklist of language organization, which means, and non-compulsory spellings. additionally integrated within the e-book and of basic curiosity are an appendix of historic stories advised by way of the Lekwiltok and a genealogical chart of the Assu family members. 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 consultant in coastal Indian tradition, with a specific curiosity within the paintings, fantasy, and rite of the Kwagiulth kingdom. She has lived on Quadra Island when you consider that 1974 and often teaches carrying on with schooling classes.

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Extra resources for Assu of Cape Mudge: Recollections of a Coastal Indian Chief

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She speaks and understands the Comox and Kwakwala languages and English. Mary Clifton's sister Maggie lived here at Cape Mudge. She was the wife of Johnny Dick. Their son Ivan married my daughter Pearl. S. Discovery, Captain George Vancouver, 1792. The milage shoum is Tsquloten, an important milage of the Vancouver Island-Comox. Reproduced by permission of the Hydrographer of the Navy 13 land who married into the Comox band. Intermarriage has been going on for many years. My own grandfather, Charley Assu, had a sister-inlaw, Nellie Cook's mother, who married a man from the Comox people who settled here at Cape Mudge.

North of Middle Point and just before Race Point was the place where we would often start trolling back home. Lots of coho were moving south to the Campbell River- coho and pinks. In those days, if you went on up north to Salmon River (Kelsey Bay), you would see a stream of salmon under your boat fifteen to twenty feet wide, moving along south. Oh, the fish used to run up all those little creeks! No more. Very few get up since they logged. At Menzies Bay, which we call 7ui, that means Big Bay, there would 28 Assu of Cape Mudge be three to four hundred people camped on each side of Mohun Creek.

When I was a boy, all the bands of the Lekwiltok came together here at Cape Mudge for the potlatch and winter dancing. 4 The Walitsum don't live at Salmon River any more. They amalgamated with the Comox. Our people, the We-Wai-Kai, lived here at Cape Mudge. The We-Wai-Kum of Campbell River were from mainland villages on Loughborough Inlet, Hey don Bay, and Greene Point Rapids (Map 6). The Kwaikah joined the We-Wai-Kum at Campbell River from their villages on the Mainland around Phillips Arm. The name Kwaikah means to club.

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