Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/183

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169
CRUISE AMONG HAIDA AND TLINGIT VILLAGES.

deserted. We found much to interest us. The totem pole with the moon symbol was the first we had seen, nor is it reproduced elsewhere on the island; but what proved of special interest were several very old graves which faced the beach on the east side of the village. These were the burial places of medicine men or Shamans, and quite different from the ordinary grave. Instead of a single pole in which the body is placed through a hole in the top or at the side, or from the double-pole platform grave which we saw at Kung, we found a little house built of short cedar logs. Inside was placed the Shaman in a long coffin-box, reclining at full length with his

PSM V53 D183 Egg shaped rock containing the burial house of a haida shaman.jpg
Egg-shaped Rock containing Burial House of a Haida Shaman.

rattles and other ceremonial paraphernalia about him. With one had been placed several very fine masks, but they had almost entirely crumbled into dust. The grave of the old chief at Kung was the best I had seen. Four short, stout posts had been firmly planted in the ground, and on the inner corners of each grooves had been cut out to receive the beams that supported the little house, in which lay the chief in state. The structure was nearly buried in a thick growth of vegetation, and much work with the axe was needed before the beautifully carved posts could be rendered visible to the camera.

Leaving Kung at ten o'clock in the morning, we set out for the extreme northwestern shore of the island, and that night anchored in a little cove on North Island. We were now on deserted but