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

p. 27

The Ill-Jow

The Ill-Jow

The Ill-Jow is a hand-hammered amulet of pil chickamin (Native Copper) or of a silver coin held together with a thread of sinew or cotton through the small holes in the flange of the charm.

The Ill-Jow comes from the Haida Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. It is a symbol of the Spirit of Theft, a bringer of good fortune to its owner. The spirit would oft-times get behind a person's back and cunningly make a thief or robber out of his victim. To ward off this spirit and curtail his desire, the victim, possessing the "Good Medicine" Charm, would be guided in the paths of uprightness. If strict attention were paid to the charm it would overcome the evil. If this was done the victim was assured of prosperity and great riches would be his.

The Ill-Jow must come into the possession of the owner by theft. When obtained it is to be stuffed with threads, hair, bits of blanket or other small articles pilfered from others. The stuffed charm should be hidden among one's personal belongings, clothing or such, although it may be carried on the person. It should not be used for adornment and should be carried in a small bag for the purpose to prevent its coming under the human vulgar gaze. The Ill-Jow is to be resurrected occasionally and petitioned to give it Skookum (Strength and Courage) to promote the success of any project that is toward. The charm must be guarded with the utmost secrecy. Among the Indians who harbor this amulet it is considered a disgrace to let the other members of the tribe know, or even surmise that the "Medicine Charm" has been adopted. Once the charm has been secured it can never be passed to another to be disposed of. It should be thrown into a body of water or dropped into a deep well.

To gain possession of this talisman have some unsuspecting person barter for it or purchase it as for himself.

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