The Shuttle-cock Lure. Fishing around the Salish Sea

By Grant Keddie The shuttle-cock lure and spear, was a unique form of technology used to catch mostly the larger lingcod and rockfish. The fisherman used this device at low tide from anchored canoes or rock points that overlooked kelp beds. The lure would be pushed down deep with a separate pole that was quickly pulled away from it. The lure then spun toward the surface, the fish darted after it and was speared when it came near the surface. The spear was 4.5 to 6 meters long. It consisted of two or three, unbarbed, fir shafts on the end. The shafts were about 4cm thick, 46cm long and about 10 cm apart at their tips (Swan 1870; Jennes 1934-35; … Continue reading “The Shuttle-cock Lure. Fishing around the Salish Sea”

Jimmy Fraser the Songhees Story Teller

By Grant Keddie. In 1941, World War II was on. At the age of 72, Jimmy Fraser (Kin-Kay-nun; Unthame, Cheachlacth) of the Songhees Nation, stood next to his fellow band members Jack Dick, Roddy Stewart, Art Hall, Clarence Dick, Richard Albany, Dave Fallardeau and Louis Kamai, at the Esquimalt dock yards, famous for their ship building. The Songhees were being praised for their contribution to the war effort. Like so many other Indigenous people then and before in World War 1, they contributed to the Canadian war effort. The Songhees were being singled out for the work they were doing at the dock yards. The foreman at the dockyards said the Songhees “were the best workers he ever had”. (Colonist … Continue reading “Jimmy Fraser the Songhees Story Teller”

Indigenous Combs of British Columbia

By Grant Keddie. Preface Combs are artifacts used by many cultures around the world over thousands of years. They are used primarily for disentangling and arranging the hair, but also as decorative items for holding the hair and head pieces, they have evolved into symbols of status or authority and cultural identity. To make a point, I show an extreme physical example of an Ashanti comb from Ghana in figure 1. Large Ashanti prestige combs were given by men to women as an act of devotion and commitment. In the 1970s, African combs took on a role in African American culture and politics where they became a sign of solidarity to the Black Power movement as a cultural statement. Combs … Continue reading “Indigenous Combs of British Columbia”