Paper pub. date
January 2003
ISBN 9780870715563 (paperback)
6 x 9 inches, 272 pages. Illustrations. Notes. References. Index.

The Nehalem Tillamook

An Ethnography

William R. Seaburg and Elizabeth Derr Jacobs

The first book-length ethnography of any Western Oregon native group, The Nehalem Tillamook fills an important gap in what was previously known about southern Northwest Coast native cultures.

In 1933 and 1934, Elizabeth Jacobs, advised by her husband, the noted anthropologist Melville Jacobs, conducted fieldwork on the Nehalem Tillamook culture of northwestern Oregon. Working with her extraordinarily able Nehalem Tillamook consultant Clara Pearson, Jacobs recorded extensive ethnographic and folkloric materials that far surpass in quality and quantity the Tillamook research of previous investigators.

Jacobs's collaboration with Pearson eventually resulted in the publication of Nehalem Tillamook Tales, an exceptional collection of myths and tales recorded in English. But the companion ethnography was never finished.

The Nehalem Tillamook grew from that unfinished manuscript. In consultation with Elizabeth Jacobs, the manuscript was expanded and extensively edited by William Seaburg. After Elizabeth Jacobs's death in 1983, Seaburg added careful annotations and a detailed historical introduction. The result is a remarkable book that makes a major contribution to our understanding of Nehalem Tillamook culture and will be invaluable for drawing comparisons with other Northwest native cultures.

About the author

William R. Seaburg is co-author of Coquelle Thompson, Athabaskan Witness: A Cultural Biography and co-editor of Badger and Coyote were Neighbors: Melville Jacobs on Northwest Indian Myths and Tales (OSU Press). He is associate professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell. He lives in Seattle.

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Elizabeth Derr Jacobs (1903-1983) was an anthropologist specializing in the native cultures of the Pacific Northwest. Her fieldwork with the Nehalem Tillamook and southwestern Oregon Athabaskans made significant contributions to the linguistic, ethnographic, and folkloristic documentation of the Native peoples of western Oregon.

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    Principal Ethnolinguistic Groups of the
      Southern Northwest Coast
    Major Tillamook Ethnolinguistic Subgroups
    Principal Nehalem Tillamook Villages in the
      Mid-Nineteenth Century

Editor's Introduction to The Nehalem Tillamook: An Ethnography
    1. The Tillamook
    2. Rocking Chair Ethnography
    3. History of Ethnographic and Linquistic
          on the Tillamook Indians
    4. Jacobs's Tillamook Research in Comparative
    5. Biographies
    6. The Editor's Role in Transforming
          the Ethnography

Author's Introduction

1. Material Culture and Subsistence
    Important Seasonal Foods
    Body Decoration
      Ceremonial Attire and Accessories
    Natural Medicines and Hygiene

2. Social Organization
    Slaves and Slave Raiding
    War Expeditions
    Dispute Settlement
    Marriage and Sexuality
      Wedding Arrangements and Ceremony
      Extent of Levirate-Sororate
      Child Betrothal
      Behavior Toward In-Laws and Other Affines
    Post-Menopause Sexuality

3. The Life Cycle
    Birth, Infant Care, and Adolescence
      Wet Nurse
      Ear Piercing and Naming
      Care of Children
      Daily Round of a Child
    Death, Burial, Purification, and Mourning

4. Worldview and Ceremonial Expression
    Obtaining Guardian Spirit Powers
    Shamans and Shamanism
      Procedures of a Drawing Doctor
      Sucking Doctors: Female
    The Winter Dance
    Spirit Doctors and the Spirit World
    Two Spirit Doctors Known Pearson
    General Notes on Shamans
    The Love-Doctor
    Guardian Spirit Powers
      Doctoring Powers
      Hunting Powers
      Wealth Powers
      Bird Powers
      Miscellaneous Powers
      Bad Powers
    Wild Womand and Insanity Concepts
    The Southwest Wind Dance
      Sun and Moon
      The First Salmon Ceremony
      Treatment of Animals

5. Expressive Culture
    Music and Songs
      Spirit Power Songs
      Fun Songs

    Appendix 1: Northwest Coast Language
    Appendix 2: Biographical Notes on Tillamootk
      Persons Discussed in the Ethnography
    Appendix 3: Inventory of Jacobs's Nethalem Tillamook
      Linguistic Transcriptions

"A significant contribution. It is very rich in the sense that there is a great deal that is new, or not widely available. This work will be mined by a variety of people-ethnographers, ethnohistorians, historians, archaeologists, tribal people, coastal residents-with an interest in these matters."

-Kenneth M. Ames, co-author of Peoples of the Northwest Coast:
Their Archaeology and Prehistory

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