T’sit’sak’ al a m ‘Yalis sunrise, October 2011. Photography courtesy Juanita Johnston
I’wakalas, Chief Harry Hanus (Hanuse) Kwakwaka’wakw family groups are called, ’na’mima which means “of one kind” or “numayma fellows” or also na’memot. ’Na’mima are the most primary social units in Kwakwaka’wakw culture. The Kwakwaka’wakw trace their origins back to their ancestral creation through their ’na’mima. Lower-ranked chiefs within a ’na’mima owe their creation to their ancestral chief. A head chief gave roles and responsibilities to the families within his ’na’mima in which no two people were of equal rank. ’Na’mima chiefs had three main administrative responsibilities which included economic organization, management of his territory and directing ceremonial obligations. These positions had to be publicly confirmed at a potlatch. The ’na’mima of the Mamalilikala included 1. Tamtaml~al’s (Ground Shakers) 2. Wi’wumasgam 3. ’Walas (the great one) 4. Ma’malilikam (the real Malilikala) Born 1882 Iwakalas, Chief Harry Hanus (Hanuse) was born in ’Mimkwamlis to Klomoksa’la and K’lilinox (Lucy) making him both Mamalilikala and an only child. His paternal grandfather Maxwa, was head chief of the Tamtaml~al’s. His oldest daughter, Lucy Brown (ne’ e Hanuse) tells of “…Harry becoming a chief at eleven or twelve years of age. He gave his first speech to a huge potlatch assembly at Salmon River. Evidently all the chiefs that were present [were] amazed at his ability to conduct himself in potlatch business. In essence he had saved his ’na’mima from disappearing.” Harry married Mary Deborah Charlie (sister to Sam Charlie) and together they had Lucy Marion (Adawis) Hanuse, Annie Laura Hanuse, George Harry Hanuse, Alice Ethel Hanuse, Alexander Hanuse, Alfred James Hanuse, Daniel Edgar Hanuse, Frederick Clarence Hanuse, Florence Eleanor Hanuse, Wilfred Hanuse and Stella Mae Hanuse.
Harry and Mary Hanuse with their daughter Annie Photo courtesy Wedlidi Speck
I’wakalas Harry Hanuse ........................................1 Re-introducing Stephen Bruce Jr. ........................3 What is ettiquette? ................................................4 In the Giftshop ......................................................5 Gifts, Grants, Donations........................................6 Harry Hanuse Kulus ..............................................7 Sam Charlie’s Big House ......................................8
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Harry was a fisherman, a logger, a businessmen, a chief, an engineer and from all accounts a thoughtful and caring person. He promised the missionaries stationed at ’Mimkwamlis to supply them with free firewood for as long as he was alive. This was a promise that he kept. Harry was active in the potlatch system all his life. The book, “An Iron Hand Upon The People,” depicts an image of a flour potlatch in ’Yalis c.1914 attributed to Harry. In December of 1921, Dan Cranmer’s potlatch was held at Harry’s gukwdzi (Big House), which was named Li’xid, “the Great House.” Harry was known for his natural ability with math and his engineering skills. He shortened his already constructed big house from 100 feet to 80 feet due to an unstable bank. When Lucy Brown (Adawis) was around four years old he raised a pole with three eagles for her.
Harry and Mary Hanuse with their children photographed at their home in Village Island, l-r; Fred, Dan, Jack and Alex with baby Flora. Photograph and caption courtesy Stan Hunt.
in front of the Council Hall. Harry’s Kwikw or Eagleseat name was Malidadzi and his wife’s was Koda’yi. At Dan Cranmer’s potlatch in 1921, Harry paid a copper back to Dan and then repurchased it for $3,000.00 Acting on behalf of Emma Cranmer, Harry paid her husband Dan furniture, canoes, blankets, etc. Harry was paying back the bride price for her as a woman can not speak at a Potlatch. Harry Hanuse passed away in 1927 at the young age of 45. Although he died quite young, Harry left an enduring legacy in his descendants who are culturally active and continue to practice their culture. Chief Harry Hanuse is in the middle left of the picture. Simon Beans is in front. Possibly Billy Beans beside Hanuse? It has been suggested that the man behind Hanuse is either Wa'xonakulas - Hanuse's uncle and who Hanuse named his son Freddie after, or it might be Komaxalas. Photograph and caption courtesy Wedlidi Speck.
In 1994, Harry’s regalia was transferred from the Kwagiulth Museum & Cultural Centre (now the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre) to the U’mista Cultural Centre as per his family’s wishes. It is now on display (along with Sam Charlie’s regalia) in the Big House
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Introducing...Stephen Bruce, Gift Shop Manager Stephen started working at the U’mista Cultural Centre on July 5, 2007 as a summer student. Former director, Andrea Sanborn was undoubtedly impressed with Stephen and his work ethic as she hired him for three summers. Current director, Sarah E. Holland was equally impresed with Stephen’s abilities and saw his potential to develop into Gift Shop Manager. Stephen started training in his new role during the summer of 2011. He is responsible for all aspects of the shop from buying from artists, to ordering stock to training and supervising our summer students. Stephen is enjoyiing his training and continues to do a great job. One area where Stephen particularly excels is customer service. How many of you have ever been so impressed with a shop clerk you met on holiday that you invited them to visit you in your country? Well, Stephen gets these kinds of Stephen Bruce outside U’mista. invitations and fan mail regularly! Stephen has indeed proven himself to be an Photography Courtesy U’mista. ideal ambassador for the Kwakwaka’wakw. When Stephen is at the front desk, the U’mista team knows for sure that all our visitors are being welcomed warmly and treated with respect and kindness. Thanks for all your hard-work and commitment Stephen, we would be lost without you!
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Gallery and the gallery directly beside the Potlatch Collection. This biography is the beginning of our research into Harry Hanuse and other original owners of the confiscated coppers and regalia that make up the Potlatch Collection. Please feel free to contact us here at U’mista if you would like to share more information on Harry Hanuse, Sam Charlie, Harry Mountain, Sam Scow, Abraham, Waxawidi, Joseph Speck, John Drabble or any of the other original owners. Although our current project is slated to be completed on March 31st, 2011, we will continue to build the files on the original owners with the information we gather. These can then be shared with the families. SOURCES: Cole, Douglas & Ira Chaikin 1990 An Iron Hand Upon the People: The Law Against the Potlatch on the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd. Reid, Martine and Daisy Sewid-Smith 2004 Paddling to Where I Stand. Vancouver: UBC Press
Speck, Wedlidi 2012 Personal Communication. UTN-00093a – Interview with Lucy Brown Royal Canadian Mounted Police Crime Reports, “E” Division, Vancouver, BC. Alert Bay detachment 01st March, 1922, 19th April 1922
This project has been made possible in part through a grant from the Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.
Would you like to contribute to the Newsletter? We accept articles from our membership, please submit them to U’mista via fax, mail or email. We prefer digital copies for ease of incorporation to the newsletter. Fax: 250 974-5499 or emal: firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 253, Alert Bay, BC V0N 1A0
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This is the interior view of the house belonging to Chief Harry Hanuse. Those living in the house were from chief Maxwa (Gway'uthilas), Hanuse, and Dawson families. The name of the house is Li'xid, "the great house" The logs for the house were obtained from Port Havey. Hanuse contructed the house to be 100 ft long, but, due to an unstable bank, he reduced it to 80 feet. The house was shortened after it had been finished and lived in. Hanuse was known for his engineering skills.The poles were carved by Bondsound. To contribute to the building of the house, Maxwa paid for the poles. He paid 300 dollars. The house posts were raven over grizzly bears in front and hok hok over grizzly bears in the back of the house. The house dishes included killer whale, whale, and wolf dishes. The wolf dishes come from the Gilgamaxsala. The Gilgimaxsala family are one of three groups who make up the Tumtumshels. The Tumhals, and Xa'igiwae are the others. Hanuse was the head chief of the Gilgamaxsala, Maxwa was head of the Tumtumshels and Xumdaas - Kwakwabalas was head of the Xa'igiwae. Wedlidi Speck, personal communication Photograph courtesy of Royal BC Museum, PN 2777
What is etiquette? Dictionary.com defines et!i!quette
[et-i-kit, -ket] noun
1. conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion. 2. a prescribed or accepted code of usage in matters of ceremony, as at a court or in official or other formal observances. 3. the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other: medical etiquette. During a recent Potlatch the speaker announced the Chief did not want their Potlatch posted on Facebook, Youtube or any other social media site. Please be respectful to your hosts and abide by their wishes. In these changing times, we need to be aware that our seemingly innocent actions have far reaching consequences. Winter 2012 - page 4 - www.umista.ca
In the Gift Shop...
Check out this great new book in the shop! From Talon Books, http://talonbooks.com/books/discovery-passages With breathtaking virtuosity, Garry Thomas Morse sets out to recover the appropriated, stolen and scattered world of his ancestral people from Alert Bay to Quadra Island to Vancouver, retracing Captain Vancouver’s original sailing route. These poems draw upon both written history and oral tradition to reflect all of the respective stories of the community, which vocally weave in and out of the dialogics of the text. A dramatic symphony of many voices, Discovery Passages uncovers the political, commercial, intellectual and cultural subtexts of the Native language ban, the potlatch ban and the confiscation and sale of Aboriginal artifacts to museums by Indian agents, and how these actions affected the lives of both Native and nonNative inhabitants of the region. This displacement of language and artifacts reverberated as a profound cultural disjuncture on a personal level for the author’s people, the Kwakwaka’wakw, as their family and tribal possessions became at once both museum artifacts and a continuation of the tradition of memory through another language. Morse’s continuous poetic dialogue of “discovery” and “recovery” reaches as far as the Lenape, the original Native inhabitants of Mannahatta in what is now known as New York, and on across the Atlantic in pursuit of the European roots of the “Voyages of Discovery” in the works of Sappho, Socrates, Virgil and Frazer’s The Golden Bough, only to reappear on the American continent to find their psychotic apotheosis in the poetry of Duncan Campbell Scott.
With tales of Chiefs Billy Assu, Harry Assu and James Sewid; the family story “The Young Healer”; and transformed passages from Whitman, Pound, Williams and Bowering, Discovery Passages links Kwakwaka’wakw traditions of the past with contemporary poetic tradition in B.C. that encompasses the entire scope of relations between oral and vocal tradition, ancient ritual, historical contextuality and our continuing rites.
Barb Cranmer Produces another beautiful film, “Potlatch, To Give” OUR PEOPLE ACKNOWLEDGE every aspect of our lives through ritual and ceremony, from birth to death. Central to our way of life is our P’asa, or Potlatch. The most important aspect of the P’asa is our T’seka, or red edar bark ceremonies. That is when people enter the spirit world to gain supernatural power and connet to our history and dances. For these ceremonies, we enter our gukwdzi, our Bighouse, where the firelight in the middle o the floor sets the scene for rich ceremony and theatrics. Our ceremonial regalia and masks connect us to our ancestral roots and make us a distinct people. The first film is a 10-minute narrative documentary showing the potlatch cerremony and discussing its importance in the passing down of history and connection to ancestry.
The second 13-minute film immerses the viewer in the experience itself with a powerful soundscape that was filmed in the Bighouse during this traditional ceremony that connects families and community for Canada's Indigenous Northwest Coast people. Winter 2012 - page 5 - www.umista.ca
Gifts, Grants and Donations... The U'mista Cultural Society appreciates the generous support of all our donors whose generosity is reflected by our continued development of the U'mista Cultural Centre for the benefit of our communities and future generations. We are grateful for your continued support. This issue we would like to say a very special Gilakas’la to long time supporters of U’mista. Jay Stewart and Peter Macnair have always been big supporters of any and all of our endeavors. In recognition of their support, the Board of Directors appointed them lifetime honorary members in 2003. Button Blanket by Margaret Cook 1987 Wool vest, thunderbird design Framed Killerwhale Print by Doug Cranmer - gift of Jay Apron with Sun design Stewart. Attendant vest design by Bruce Alfred Grease skimmer Killerwhale face mask by Henry Hunt - gift of Peter L. Cooking tongs, miniature by Chief Peter Smith Macnair. Baby rattle by Chief Peter Smith gifts of Jay Stewart and Peter L. Macnair. 1996 Clam Basket by Agnes Alfred (possibly), Vest, with Sisiyutl Designs, Vest, Sisiyutl Thunderbird design Vest, Salmon and Thunderbird design Canoe - Museum Print by Doug Cranmer gift of Jay Stewart and Peter L. Macnair.
“box of treasures” Royal Albert China, design by Ellen Neel gift of Jay Stewart and Peter L. Macnair.
Potlatch Trunk, one large and one small Five Lloyd Wadhams silkscreened wood blocks Halibut bowl by Mungo Martin Halibut bowl by Stephen Kenneth Hunt Reckitt’s Blue box Dolfinarium invitation Framed photographs Box of Miscellaneous potlatch t-shirts, mugs and sweat shirts. Twenty-two items in total gifts of Jay Stewart and Peter L. Macnair.
16” Eugene Hunt Drum Crochet Wall Hanging - Thunderbird & Whale Crochet Wall Hanging - Kolus and Sisiyutl Books, The Social Organization of the Haisla of BC, Social life of the Owikeen Kwakiutl and Notes on the Bella Bella Kwakiutl by Ronald Olson. gift of Jay Stewart and Peter L. Macnair.
Mug, “Ne-na Wadeeedee Memorial ‘95” gift of Jay Stewart and Peter L. Macnair.
Kulus headdress by Tom Hunt Bakwas mask by Joe David Button Blanket by Alice Smith
Detail of blanket made by Margaret Cook, gift of Peter Macnair and Jay Stewart. Gilakas’la! Photograph courtesy of U’mista Cultural Centre. 2012 Winter 2012 - page 6 - www.umista.ca
Harry Hanuse holds his daughter Ethel, to his left is unidentified?, and in front of her is his wife Mary Hanuse (ne’e Charlie). Kulus headdress belonging to Chief I’wakalas, Harry Hanuse, UCC 94.09.010
Photograph courtesy of Stan Hunt
Photograph: Sharon Eva Grainger
Owner: Chief I’wakalas Harry Hanuse of the Mamalilikala. Returned from: Canadian Museum of Civilization, VII.E.487; 979.1.66 to the Nuyumbalees Cultural Society, Cape Mudge, but the family requested its transfer to the U'mista Cultural Society in Alert Bay Materials: wood, cedar; glass; fibre, cotton; rubber Kulus is a young thunderbird who lives in the sky. He is respected as a helpful and protective spirit of chosen ancestors. In many legends, Kulus is referred to as the younger brother or sister of the Thunderbird. Kulus does not have feathers and is noted for its very thick coat of white down; it is said to be so thick that the bird has the tendency to perspire, and is happy to remove his covering and become human for a while. This refers to the ability, like the Thunderbird, to transform and become human. In most origin stories, a Kulus flew down from heaven and shed his costume to become the founding ancestor of the tribe or clan.
Sam Charlie’s regalia during exhibit installation in the Third Gallery, beside the Potlatch Collection
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Photograph courtesy U’mista Cultural Centre
U’mista’s logo shows the sun in human form. The creator Doug Cranmer said, “It wasn’t a great big fireball in the sky to the [Kwakwaka’wakw], he’s a little guy who gets up every morning, puts his abalone earrings on and walks across the sky. His earrings are the things that get the light.”
Winter HOURS of OPERATION Open Tuesday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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Xalx’id by Wedlidi Speck “The bighouse belonged to chief Xalx’id of the Ma'malelegam namima of the Mamalilikala tribe. Xalx’id had several titles amongst the Mamalilikala. According to the late chief Jimmy Sewid, Xalx’id owned the name Maleleqala; he held the rights to the ancestral name. Xalx’id was also Wa'mis in the Ma'malelegam; The name Datinside was transfered as well as a huge chiefs hat with the sun design when he married Komanuxw. The Sun man on top of the house is connected to this dowry transfer. Sisantla namima has been referrenced as from where the standing has been transfered from and is part of the Ma'malelegam. This would suggest that the Ma'malelegam has two groups; the Ma'malelegam and Sisantla. Boas/Hunt collection says that Walas Kwaxilanogwame was a name he had amongst the Tumtumshels. Family history suggests that the name came from his mother and was Kwaxilanogwame. It was an Eagle seat in the Gilgamasala family of the Tumtumshels. This title went to my grandmother Lucy (Brown, ne’e Hanuse). Xalx’id had the name Sisaxalis amongst the Wi'womasgam of the Mamalilikala, the name Ya'qalas and the seat the name filled came from the Lelewagila of the Dzawadenoxw. His second eagle seat had the name Lalakuts'atsi and was from the Ma'malelegam. Jimmy Sewid said Xalx’id had the name Chuq'chuq'gwill'lee'gee. This name dosen't Photograph courtesy Royal BC Museum PN 1067 come up against the list of names provided by my family. It could have been Xalx’id’s summer name. He married Komanewx of the Walas namima. She was from the house of Hi'you'gweese. The sisiutl originates from the time when the myth people captured the sisiutl to acquire the winter ceremonial from the Myth People -wolves. There is a huge rock on the beach where the sisiult was dressed. Xalx’id’s son Sam became the head chief of the Ma'malelegam. Xalx’id’s daughter, Mary Hanuse held the title name of K'oti amongst the Ma'malelegam. My name Wedlidi comes from this house. My brother George has the name Wa'gila from this house.” Winter 2012- page 8 - www.umista.ca