Item a043533 - Saatlsaach or Samiilth ceremony

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Saatlsaach or Samiilth ceremony

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  • Source of title proper: Supplied title based on image contents and consultation provided by Ron Hamilton.

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  • [192-?] (Creation)

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1 photograph

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Image shows what may be a Saatlsaach or Samiilth ceremony, as indicated by the K’aanaatla, the two men in the foreground in a stooped posture with sheets running from their heads down the length of their backs. The K’aanaatla are mimicking wolves. They hold short sticks in each hand which represent the animals’ lower limbs and protect their hands from the barnacles and seashells on the beach.

The man with the black hat and black paint on his cheeks is likely the head K’aanaatla. He carries two pieces of wood to naskshitl (create a rapid, steady beat) or in case one of the K’aanaatla drops theirs. Picking up an object dropped by a K’aanaatla during a ceremony would be tantamount to admitting the K’aanaatla had made a mistake and was therefore refrained from.

In the background, lines of large boulders on the beach indicate canoe runs. On the viewer’s right-hand side of the image, a pole laid perpendicular to the canoe run is likely a cedar sapling used to protect canoes against the gravel beach and to facilitate sliding canoes out of the water.

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