Tluutisim

Tluutisim

The son of Tlaaphiitap, Tluutisim belonged to the Nachimuwas7ath ushtakimilh of the Maktl7lii7ath. His house was on the bank of the Somass River, just upstream from the houses of Sayaach’apis and Doug Thomas. Although he had no children, Tluutisim was galhaatik [younger brother] to Harry Tyee. The interior of Tluutisim’s big house [40 x 80 feet or 12 x 24 metres] had a carved house post facing the back of the house on each side of the entry door. Tluutisim carved both posts himself. The post to the left,when facing the door from inside, displayed a tupaati he inherited from his Tseshaht paternal grandmother. It represented Nexs7is [“Hole on the Back of the Whale”], holding a whale in his hands. The whale had a hole in its back where the fin was. This Tseshaht tupaati could be used by William, his son Frank Williams, and his nephew John Dick, suggesting they shared a family connection with Tluutisim.The post to the right showed a tupaati inherited from his Niitiina7ath paternal grandfather. Having this Niitiina7ath grandfather meant that Tluutisim was the only person at Alberni with the right to use this tupaati.   This housepost related the story of a whale hunter who went out to ?oosimich and had a vision of a naked man holding a baby in his arms.   The man was a “whale man,” the spirit that is released when a whale is killed, and the child was the baby of the whale. The post portrayed the hunter holding the child. Both of these crest tutuupata were to give Tluutisim good luck in whaling.

Figure 2 -This model house post of Tluutisim, Canadian Museum of Civilization, VII-F-454,S97-14955