|Lucia Wiley’s 1943 WPA painting of Captain Gray's |
interaction with Tillamooks, from Wikimedia Commons.
A permanent village at the south of the end of the spit, in the meadow where the Bayocean School that is now the Cape Meares Community Center was later built, probably was the home base of the warriors who battled Captain Gray's men. In his 1948 diary, archived at the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, Bayocean resident Jack Medcalf described longhouse ruins and a large midden there. The location is shown on page 175 of Tillamook Indians of the Oregon Coast, but the landscape in the photo has changed dramatically since then. On page 158, beeswax is reported to have been found there, which would have come from Nehalem Bay Tillamooks who salvaged it from the Spanish Galleon Santo Cristo de Burgos after it wrecked during the winter of 1693–1694 (see “Oregon’s Manila Galleon” by La Follette, Deur, Griffin, and Williams in the Summer 2018 Oregon Historical Quarterly). Diseases brought by sailors decimated the Tillamooks' population to the extent the village on Tillamook Spit had been abandoned by the time white settlers arrived. When Samuel Snowden surveyed it in 1856, he noted a lone hut at Crab Harbor.
In 1934, Clara Pearson relayed Tillamook myths to ethnographer Elizabeth Derr Jacobs that were published in Nehalem Tillamook Tales. One offers an explanation for the first people living in the village on the spit moving there from Flower Plot, a meadow along the southern shore of Tillamook Bay. It was a long, gruesome tale about Wild Woman (Xilgo) roasting children for violating a rule against eating while their parents were away. The villagers took revenge by tricking Wild Woman into returning and then roasting her. No one wished to remain there after that.
Clara Pearson also explained how South Wind (Asaiyahal) created Tillamook Spit, but I will use the version Hyas John relayed to Franz Boas because it is shorter. Tim Nidever of Portland State University was kind enough to translate it from Latin before I learned of more recent English versions. The Journal of American Folklore evidently thought the myth was too sexually explicit for the Victorian readers who would read their April-June 1898 edition. At least, that's why I chose not to paraphrase it.
While traveling the world, he traveled on and came to Tillamook. When indeed he saw a woman across the river, bathing after the completion of her period, he wished to have intercourse with her. And so, his penis, which, on account of its unbelievable length, he carried wrapped around his shoulders, he deliberately cast into the water in order that it might make contact with the woman. By this action, the tip of his penis entered her vagina. By chance, many a water plant was borne downstream against his penis in its shrinking desire so that it was, at length, severed by the constant friction. The tip, conveyed by the river’s current, was transformed into the long and narrow peninsula which today is called Tillamook. As’ai’yahal hung from his shoulders the rest of his coiled penis.
For the scientific explanation of how the sandspit was formed, see Prehistoric Geomorphology of Bayocean Peninsula. For more posts on Tillamook Indians see the Index tab.
That is quite a story.ReplyDelete
So THAT's what Tillamook means. I wouldn't have guessed.ReplyDelete
Ti = plural “the”Delete
Elim= a people with this name, meaning unknown
OOK = plural similar to “s” in English e.g. Ball(s)
This is Chinook Jargon not Salish
Others have suggested the "Lady Washington" anchored near Bay City, but Haswell said their anchorage was a half-mile offshore in eighteen feet of water and that the depth of the channel was never less than thirteen-and-a-half feet. The first Tillamook Bay Coast Survey chart, based on soundings taken by Julius Kincheloe in 1866 and 1867, shows the channel from the inlet to the east side of the bay narrowing to eleven feet with no depths there approaching eighteen feet one-half mile offshore. Several spots meet that description around Crab Harbor. Haswell also said Captain Gray chose not to fill the ship’s water barrels because sources were too far distant for the ship’s guns to protect sailors doing the work. Streams and rivers flow into Tillamook Bay year-round from every side except the spit. If they had anchored anywhere except Crab Harbor, sailors could have collected water within the range of its guns. On page 10 of "Bayocean Memories Beneath the Sand," Bayocean alumnus Perry Reeder agrees. Having piloted ships through the bay inlet for many years, he recognized Haswell's landmarks. He also pointed out that Captain Gray would not have forced sailors weak from scurvy go any farther than they had to before anchoring and searching for fruit.ReplyDelete
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Great addition to the page. I've visited many times and wondered about the Indigenous Peoples relationship to the land called BayOcean. Sad, though that most of the stories are violent. But colonization is pretty violent. Thanks for your work on this page.ReplyDelete