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p. 246


When a chief who is continually sick has a daughter about ten years old and not yet mature, he makes a potlatch and pretends that she is menstruant for the first time. The people dance five days and are paid for dancing.

When a chiefs daughter is menstruating for the first time, she is hidden [from the view of the people]. Only an [old] woman takes care of her. Cedar bark is tied to her arms [above the elbows and at the wrists], to her legs, and around her waist. She fasts sometimes five days, sometimes ten days, or four or six days. Now the people are invited and a potlatch is made for the girl. She remains hidden five days. Now she is taken out [of her hiding place] and the cedar bark which is tied around her [arms, legs, and waist] is taken off. Then strings of dentalia are tied around her arms and legs, and a buckskin strap is tied around her waist. This remains tied around her for one hundred days, then it is taken off. Now an old woman washes her face. Another old woman paints her; still another one combs her. When this is finished the people are paid for dancing for her. Now these old women are paid and the girl is hidden again. She has a separate door. She bathes in a creek far [from the village]. For fifty days she does not eat fresh food. When she is menstruant for the second time her father gives another potlatch. She must not warm herself. She must never look at the people. She must not look at the sky. she must not pick berries. It is forbidden. When she looks at the sky it becomes

p. 247

bad weather. When she picks berries it will rain. She hangs up her [towel of] cedar bark on [a certain] spruce tree. The tree dries up at once. After one hundred days she may eat fresh food, she may pick berries and warm herself.

If the people move from one place to another, she is carried into the canoe. She must not paddle and is carried on the back into the canoe. She must not step into salt water. When it is night she must go to bathe. She must rise earlier than the birds. If the birds should rise first she will not live long. If she does everything in the right way she will get old before she dies. After her second menses [these customs] are finished. Later on, when she is menstruant, she goes out of the house and comes back after five days. Every month when she is menstruating she goes out at once. Sometimes she stays outside four days. No sick person must see her. When a person is sick she makes a house for herself far away. The same is done by a girl menstruant for the first time. The latter must not look at children.

When a menstruant woman eats fish that was caught in a net, the net becomes unlucky. If the people try to catch fish in the net, they find that it has become unlucky. It is the same with a hook. When she eats sturgeon, and the people try to catch sturgeon with that hook, they find that it has become unlucky. After five days she may eat fresh food. Berries which she has picked must not be eaten by children or sick persons.

When a girl who is menstruant for the first time has no father, then her mother's brother gives a potlatch for her. Sometimes her father's brother, or her father's sister or her mother's sister will make a potlatch for her. If anybody has not many dentalia the people are invited. They do not dance, but look at the girl. Presents are distributed among them. Not many dentalia are distributed. In the same way presents are distributed among the people when she has her second menses.

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