Speck, Frank G. (Frank Gouldsmith), 1881-1950. Naskapi, the savage hunters of the Labrador peninsula

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter One Introduction

Outline Of The Ethnology Of The Region

Informants And Sources

The Contact With Christianity And Decline Of The Natives

The Religious Categories

Chapter Two The Spiritual Forces

The M(ə)ntu' Concept

Great Spirit (high God) Concept

Chapter Three Concept Of The Soul

General Beliefs



Chapter Four Concepts Of Mythology And The Universe

Ts(ə)ka'bec Snares The Sun And Becomes Transformed Into It (escoumains Band)

Ts(ə)ka'bec Snares The Moon (mistassini Band)

Ts(ə)ka'bec Snares The Moon And Gets Into It, Becoming The Man In The Moon (escoumains Band)

Origin Of The Four Earth Winds

The Origin Of Summer And The Fisher Transformed Into A Constellation

Forest Beings

The Cannibal, Mamiltehe'o (“he Who Has A Hairy Heart”)

Chapter Five Animals In Special Relation To Man

The Caribou

Ungava Version Of The Tale Of Caribou House

At(ə)'k□wabe'o, Caribou Man

Observances Concerning The Bear

Me'jo Talks To Himself

An Old Woman Kills A Bear And Observes The Proper Rites

The Beaver Rites

Mista'beo (big Man) Tries To Kill The Giant Beavers

The Master Of The Fish

Responsibility To Various Other Animals

Lesser Animals (otter, Marten, Hare, Seal, And Birds)

Chapter Six Divination

General Discussion And Distribution 3

Scapulimancy In The New World

Scapulimancy Among Bands Of The Southern Labradorean Area

Scapulimancy Among Northern Labradorean Bands

Discussion Of Distribution

Divination By Gazing

Beaver Pelvis Oracle

Beaver Tibia Oracle

Moving Oracle (bear Patella)

Divination By Tossing Fish Bones

Divination By Tossing Up Muskrat Skull

Otter-paw Oracle

Divination By Skinning Otter Tail

Other Forms Of Bone Divination

Chapter Seven Magic Practices

Invoking The Soul-spirit By Singing, Drumming And Rattling

Drum Speech




Wish Power

Sunbeam Revelation

A Hunter Dreams Of Sun Illumination And Of Killing A Herd Of Caribou 12

The Hunter Dreams Of A Fishing Place 14

Magic In Decorative Art

Games As Magic Devices

The Game Feast

The Ceremonial Game Carrying String (ni˙ma'ban)

The Sweat Lodge

The Shot Pouches

The Bone Skinning Tool (mits(ə)kwu'n)

Smoking As A Rite

String Figures From Seven Islands

Chapter Eight Medicinal Practices And Charms For Hunting

Luck Charms


Chapter Nine Afterword

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Naskapi, the savage hunters of the Labrador peninsula

Published By: Original publisher Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1935. 248 p., 19 plates

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Frank Gouldsmith Speck

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2009. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Innu (NH06)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Ethos (181); Hunting and trapping (224); Settlement patterns (361); Cultural participation (184); Missions (797); Organized ceremonial (796); Cosmology (772); Mythology (773); Animism (774); Ethnometeorology (821); Ethnozoology (825); Revelation and divination (787);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This document is a description of the culture of the Naskapi, one of the main divisions of the Montagnais, who inhabit the northern, eastern and southeastern portions of the Labrador Peninsula. The main concentration is upon Naskapi religion which is noted for its preoccupation with the chase and for its lack of ceremonial aspects. Other facets of culture are treated as they come up in the description of the religion. Included are chapters on divination, magical practices, medicinal practices and hunting charms, animals in relation to man, and concepts of the soul, mythology and the universe. The document is very poor in descriptions of material culture, economics and social organization. Bibliographic references are found in footnotes to each page. A glossary and an index are included. Leacock (1954):(HRAF document 1) disagrees with Speck's findings in several instances. Speck was at the University of Pennsylvania at the time of the writing of the book.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 2

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. nh06-002

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1908-1932

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Timothy J. O'Leary ; 1958

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1800-1935

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Labrador Peninsula (Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador provinces), Canada

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Innu Indians


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