A Comparative And Analytic Study Of Some Aspects Of Northwest Coast Religion
Lane, Barbara Savadkin
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This study describes in detail religious concepts and practices of the Cowichan Indians of Vancouver Island; compares certain religious traits and complexes over the Northwest Coast and adjoining areas; and suggests religious sub-areas within the Northwest Coast. Several of the extra-aerial connections of Northwest Coast religion are discussed and some historical sequences within the Northwest Coast are suggest. The religious features studied comparatively are: the series of worlds concept, spirit, power, spirit dancing as contrasted with secret societies, ritualists, shamanism, magic formulas, the killerwhale-wold concept, and rain-making. The conclusions of the study are: that the Northwest Coast may be divided into three major sub-areas which roughly coincide with the previous sub-areal divisions; Asiatic and Eskimo correspondences are greater in the north sub-areas and appear to be old; Plateau affiliations are more prominent in the central and southern sub-areas and are also old. Religious development within the Northwest Coast indicates a comparatively early substratum of belief shared by Kwakiutl, Nootka, and Salish, and a considerable period of isolation of the Bella Coola and Tillamook from other Coast Salish.
- Anthropology