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The Thunder Bird Tootooch Legends, by W.L. Webber, [1936], at

p. 36

Property Woman, or Great Grandmother


The ancient aristocratic aborigines of the Northwest Coast at all times had property in mind. This consisted of furs, blankets, canoes, slaves, totem crests and wives. His chief interest lay in marrying a mate who could bring him property. He always looked forward to capturing the Mythical Great Grandmother or Property Woman, or to hear the cry of her child. Even this could bring riches.

Property Woman was described as having a cone-shaped head acquired by the method of binding her skull when she was an infant. Hence, the name "Flat Head". The practice was adopted by the aristocracy of many Indian Tribes as a badge of distinction. The child was called "Carried-on-the-back".

Property Woman was always spoken of as having brownish hair that draped her form, was young, and would never grow old and had a sweet voice. When heard by a man she caused him to become wealthy. If a piece of her blanket was found more riches would be acquired. Medicine Men would often eat magic herbs so that they could speak with her. The Indians, when searching for clams on sandy beaches, were always on the lookout for the way she laid out the clams in four squares. Again, they might find a place where she had buried her shell labret or some other article from her personal adornments.

Many chiefs claimed to have caught the Property Woman. Medicine men in their arrogance, claimed that she brought them gifts of food.

It is very seldom that the Property Woman is found on a Totem Pole, although she belongs to the Raven People.

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