Marmot Trap Triggers in the Royal B.C. Museum Ethnology Collection

May 28, 2019. By Grant Keddie. Introduction Marmots were hunted in many parts of British Columbia for their furs and their fat content. Both Coastal and Interior peoples went into the mountains every fall to hunt them. Some First Nations continue to hunt marmots. See Appendix 1, First Peoples and Marmots of British Columbia, for a detailed overview of the role of marmots in Indigenous societies. Deadfall traps and snares of various sizes were used for catching most species of mammals as well as birds. There are several types and sizes of artifacts in this general category of trap devices that were used by the Tlingit and their inland relatives for trapping mainly marmots and ground squirrels. Small deadfall trap … Continue reading “Marmot Trap Triggers in the Royal B.C. Museum Ethnology Collection”

Hunting the Devil

By Grant Keddie Aboriginal peoples, from the central coast of British Columbia to SW Alaska, represent the octopus in their art, myths and ceremonies. All First Nations peoples living along the coast also ate octopuses, which are high in protein. But while there are many historical accounts of skinned octopus arms being used to bait hooks for halibut fishing, there are few descriptions that have been uncovered about where and how octopuses were caught. Some accounts have been found for the south end of Vancouver Island. In 1951, James Fraser of the Songhees told anthropologist Wilson Duff that the “big rock” in Gonzales Bay was called “devilfish rock” and “If you touch that rock, devilfish come up.” It was also … Continue reading “Hunting the Devil”