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45. Nô'mas. 1

Tradition of the Nû'nEmasEqâ'lîs, a Clan of the Lau'itsîs.

Nô'mas came down from the sky to Â'g*iwala, at Fort Rupert. While he was sitting there, a butterfly 2 as large

p. 486

as an eagle flew about his head, and cried "Ma, ma, ma!" three times. For this reason the people sing this burden. Nô'mas had a large house for his winter-dance, and he wore a large head-ring of red cedar-bark. He arranged a place in the rear of the house where time should be beaten on boards and boxes (qê'qElabâ?lil).

When Nô'mas came down to our world, he had a copper. When the people became more numerous, he gave a feast, during which he put his copper under the mountain. For this reason the place in Knights Inlet where the feast was given is called Copper-under-It (L!â'qwaxstElîs).

The chiefs of the Kwakiutl desired that he should come and make songs for them, because from the beginning he was a song-leader. They said, "Let our uncle come here. He is a song-leader. He shall make songs for us." Therefore the people now have songs in the winter-dance. He made the first songs.

When ?mâ'xwa, ?mâ'xwalîs, and Yîx*â'gEmê?, chiefs of the Kwakiutl, were going to marry, they said, "Let our uncle come! He has a staff with a hand on top of it." With this he took the princesses of the chiefs of various tribes. He went all over the country to get wives, even as far south as Comox.

Ts!â'mâ was the name of his child. He was called Copper-making-Face (L!â'qwag*ilagemê?) when he took his father's place. He had a son named ?nEmô'gwîs, whose descendants were, in order, Wä'LEmaxalas, Â'widê, and Kwâ'x*ilanôkumê?. This last one died recently.


485:1 See also F. Boas, The Social Organization and the Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians (Report of the U. S. National Museum for 1895, p. 381).

485:2 It was the ghost who appeared in this form.

Next: 46. Gâ'sag*ila