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p. 268

The Potlatch.

When a chief intends to give a potlatch, four, five, or six men are sent out in a canoe [to invite the guests]. One man who has a guardian spirit is sent among them. When they approach a town the man who has the guardian spirit sings. The people of that town hear him and say, "Oh, we are going to be invited." The messengers land and tell the people to come. Then they go to the next town. After having visited all the towns they go home. Now the people make themselves ready. They wait for those who live farthest away. When they arrive they all go down the river together. Thus they do also when a chief on the upper part of the river has sent an invitation. They go up the river together. When they reach the town to which they were invited they put their canoes side by side and lay planks across. This is done with all their canoes. Now they dance, and those who have guardian spirits sing. The people dance on the planks. Their faces are painted red, their hair is strewn with down. All the women wear their dentalia, their ear and hair ornaments, and their necklaces. They wear good blankets. Braves wear their head ornaments and their faces are blackened. Shamans carry their batons. They sing and finally land. Then they tell a woman, "You shall be our head dancer." She replies, "No; I do not dare to do it." One who knows how to dance well is made head dancer, a man or a woman. Now they enter the house dancing. When a woman [while dancing] bends her head, another one goes and raises it. Then she pays her for having made her head straight. When a person gets out of rhythm, he is taken to the side of the house and must sit down there. All those who have

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guardian spirits sing. When the people of one town have finished, those of another town enter dancing. When there are not many people of one town, those of two towns enter together. When the house is large, the people of three towns will enter together.

If the host has too little food, two youths are sent and told, "Go and ask my relatives to bring food." The youths go to a town and ask the [host's relatives] to bring food. They all come and bring food. They also dance on the canoes and land. They enter the house dancing. When they bring dry salmon, five men hold it in their mouths while they enter the house dancing. When they bring roots, five men carry them on their backs when they enter the house dancing. After the people have danced five days they receive presents. One man is asked [to stand near the host and] to name the people. First he names the chief of one town. When the host is liberal, he gives the man who calls out the names a blanket. Or he is given long dentalia. After one town is finished, another one receives presents. Again first the chief is called. When he drags his present he is called back. Men as well as women are thus given presents.

The people are forbidden to shoot with arrows during the potlatch. If a man should want to fight against the people of a town and shoot an arrow, then the people would fight and several would be killed.

The women receive each a fathom of short dentalia. Only men are given long dentalia. Common men receive short dentalia. If a chief has many dentalia, then every one receives two fathoms of short dentalia.

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