"Jimmie had a good boat. He and his wife, Louisa, agreed to take me to the old villages of Tanoo, Skedans and Cumshewa, on the southern island of the Queen Charlotte group. . . . the missionary had asked me to take his pretty daughter along.
"We chugged and bobbed over all sorts of water and came to Tanoo in the evening. It looked very solemn as we came nearer. Quite far out from land Jimmie shut off the engine and plopped the anchor into the sea. Then he shoved the canoe overboard, and, putting my sheep dog and me into it, nosed it gently through the kelp. . . . The dog and I jumped out and Jimmie and the canoe went back for the others."
"Beyond the point there were three fine house fronts. . . . When Jimmie cut away the growth around the foot of them, the paint on the poles was quite bright. The lowest figure of the centre pole was a great eagle; the other two were beavers with immense teeth-they held sticks in their hands."
Carr Klee Wyck typescript n.d.
The characters of Jimmie and Louisa are based on Clara and William Russ of Skidegate village. Carr hired them and their boat to take her to several sites on Haida Gwaii including T'anuu, Q'una, and Ts'aa7ahl.
For several decades this pole has widely and popularly been called the Weeping Pole.* However, Dr. C.F. Newcombe's firsthand description provides a more accurate account:
"Close to the island called Bonilla on the charts (and Q'al by the Haida) lying close to the north end of Banks Island and not far from the Tsimshian town of Kitkatla, there lived a 'saltwater' or sea-chief whose eyes drop out of their sockets at night and hang down his middle. At meal times his friends return his eyes to their place and hold them there so that he can see to eat. They also support his eyelids. This chief not having any teeth swallowed his food whole and this consisted principally of hair-seal. After holding his food for a few hours, he blows out the undigested bones and other parts with great force."
C.F. Newcombe 1904-1905
* The 'weeping' segment of the original pole and a copy of the entire pole is on display at the Royal B.C. Museum, Victoria
On to Pebble Town
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