The Lions (book reference)

David Robertson drobert at TINCAN.TINCAN.ORG
Wed Mar 31 06:25:08 UTC 1999


Na-t'u7wan yakwa ixt buk "Bankuba Ikanum", ya-munk-c!Em yaka uk E. Pauline
Johnson (Tekahionwake).  I have here a book "Legends of Vancouver",
written by E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake).

Khapuk tipsu ya-nim 'makwst' pi k!Imta, ukuk clhadEy7 [ts'lady] ya-wawa
kakwa:  On page number two and following, this lady says thus:

'The chief ... seemed so surprised at the name that I mentioned the reason
it had been applied ... asking him if he recalled the Landseer Lions in
Trafalgar Square.  Yes, he remembered those splendid sculptures, and his
quick eye saw the resemblance instantly ... [P]resently he referred to the
Indian legend of those peaks....

'"Many thousands of years ago," he began, "there were no twin peaks like
sentinels guarding the outposts of this sunset coast.  They were placed
there long after the first creation, when the Sagalie Tyee moulded the
mountains, and patterned the mighty rivers where the salmon run, because
of His love for His Indian children, and His wisdom for their necessities.

'"...[W]hen our daughters step from childhood into the great world of
womanhood, the occasion must be made one of extreme rejoicing ... The
parents ususally give a great potlatch, and a feast that lasts many days
... More than that, sometimes when a great Tyee celebrates for his
daughter, the tribes from far up the coast, from the distant north, from
inland, from the island, from the Cariboo country, are gathered as guests
to the feast....

'"[I]t was many thousands of years ago that a great Tyee had two daughters
that grew to womanhood at the same springtime, when the first great run of
salmon thronged the rivers, and the olallie bushes were heavy with

'"[T]hese two maidens came before him ... 'Speak, my daughters, my girls
with the eyes of April, the hearts of June' (early spring and early summer
would be the more accurate Indian phrasing)....

'"'Will you, for our sakes, invite the great northern hostile tribe...?'

'"...I, the Tyee of the Capilanos, ask -- no, command -- that they join me
for a great feast in honour of my two daughters.'

'"The hostile war-songs ceased, and in their place were heard the soft
shuffle of dancing feet, the singing voices of women, the play-games of
the children of two powerful tribes which had been until now ancient
enemies, for a great and lasting brotherhood was sealed between them....

'"Then the Sagalie Tyee smiled on His Indian children:  'I will make these
young-eyed maidens immortal,' He said.  In the cup of His hands He lifted
the chief's two daughters and set them for ever in a high place, for they
had borne two offspring -- Peace and Brotherhood -- each of which is now a
great Tyee ruling this land."'

Pus Laksta tIki nanich ilEp ukuk buk, ya-chaku khapa uk haws McClelland &
Stewart, khapa Toronto tawn, Kinchoch IlI7i, uk sno 1920.  If anyone wants
to see more of this book, it came from the McClelland & Stewart publishing
house, in Toronto, Canada, in the year 1920.

Lush pulakli!  Good evening!

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