Document | Lower Chinook Ethnographic Notes by Verne Ray

This 156-page publication is broken into easily downloaded sections. Click on the summary of contents for a downloadable pdf and view the book by chapter below. This book is used by permission of University of Washington Special Collections.

Summary of Contents

The well-known anthropologist Verne Ray spent the summer of 1931 and part of the summer of 1936 working with two Lower Chinook informants to write the following ethnography. This work was conducted under the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington. The first informant Emma Millet Luscier, who lived at Bay Center, Washington, provided the bulk of the information. Luscier, born around 1871, was Cowlitz on her mother’s side and Wahkaiakum on her father’s side. Both her father and mother served as informants for Shoalwater and Lower Cowlitz Salishan groups, respectively. Ray’s second informant, Isabelle Aubichon Bertrand, born around 1843, was the daughter of French Canadian Alexis Aubichon and his Chinook wife Elimermach (or Mary Anne). Mrs. Bertrand did not speak English, but her daughter acted as interpreter. The publication provides information on Chinook culture and society, including material on class and rank, marriage, feasting and gift-giving, trade, transportation, domestic life, mythology, and the significance of fishing and waterways to Chinook livelihood.