Saturday, June 4, 2011

Who Are The Tsimshian?

The Tsimshian are known as the “People of the Skeena." They are a group of linguistically related people who are divided into four sub-groups. The Gitxsan, The Nisga'a, the Coast Tsimshian and the Southern Tsimshian. There is a substantial Tsimshian population in Alaska but the majority live on the Skeena and Nass Rivers in northern B.C. They are a proud people who have a history rich in tradition and legends. Many of their centuries old legends revolve around the Raven- the Trickster- and they incorporate this figure into totem poles and ceremonial art. The Tsimshian were known as proud warriors and skillful hunters. Wild game and salmon have always been a staple of the Tsimshian people's life and diet.

Currently there are estimated to be around 10,000 Tsimshian. They still live in their ancestral homeland and they continue the traditions that have served them for thousands of years. They have a hierarchical society and an individual's role in society was determined by their clan. The Tsimshian are now divided into sixteen bands and live on reserves in their ancestral territory. Salmon is still their most important food source.

No comments:

Post a Comment