Front Page of “The Oregonian” On July 17, 1924
APE HUNT TO FAIL, INDIANS PREDICT – SEEAHTIKS SAID TO ROAM AT SPIRIT LAKE – STRANGE EVENTS RELATED – BIG BREASTED GIANTS TAKE REVENGE ON TRIBESMEN – CEDAR IS LEFT ON DEAD – SHAGGY MONSTERS REPUTED TO BE STRONG ENOUGH TO PULL OFF HEADS OF HUMANS
BY JORG TOTSGI, CLALLAM TRIBE, Editor of the Real American.
HOQUIAM, Wash., July 16. — (Special.) — That the apeman hunt now being conducted by Kelso people will meet with failure is the foregone conclusion of Indians of the Northwest who know the habits and supernatural powers of these Seeahtik Indians or the lower class of Seeahtiks, which the Clallams call the Tyapish or Nung-Nung, the name given them by the lower Chehalis Tribe.
Local Indians assert that the Seeahtik Tribesmen generally make their appearance around Mount St. Helens the latter part of July and as a general rule do not remain there very long. Then they move North to the Olympic Range, where they do their Fall fishing in the upper parts of the Quinault and the Brinnon River. Then about the first of November or with the first breath of Winter they continue their Northward journey to Vancouver Island, where they remain during the entire Winter.
SPIRIT LAKE WEIRD
Old Indians of the upper Chehalis, the Cowlitz and the Quinault assert that Spirit Lake is a weird lake. Many strange things have happened there and many weird tales and legends abound in the region of the Spirit Lake country. It is said of the old Indians that only the strongest among them sought their Tamanaweis, or soul power, in the lake. There were some who came back and became strong Medicine Men among their tribe, but more often they were never heard from again.
Allen Chenois, a local Indian, told the following story to the writer regarding the Tyapish Indians:
“My uncle, old man Chenois, told me once that he found a party of other Indians while out hunting some years ago and came upon a band of the Tyapish Indians during their evening meal in Baker’s Slough on the Willapa Bay. The giant Tyapish seemed to be talking to the others in queer animal sounds, which my uncle could not make out. The Tyapish licked his greasy paws, then wiped them on his naked sides. Crouched around him on their hams [thighs] were several others.”
“In appearance they were much the same. They were tall, narrow-hipped and had crooked legs, and at the same time were deep-chested with heavy arms and enormous hands. They were covered with thick hair and had large breasts. Their heads were matted with uncut hair and black glittering eyes like the eyes of birds. Their jaws were massive. At one side of them partly devoured lay the carcass of a deer. It was a clear starlight night and we could make them out very plainly, but they were so ferocious looking my uncle said that we did not stay very long.”
Allen Chenols added that the Tyapish had not killed any Indians of the past generation that he knows of, but he had heard that former Chehalis Indians had been murdered at times by these giant Indians. They were so strong it is known they could pull a grown man’s head right off.
L. Peter James of the Lummi Tribe related last year to the writer that the Seeahtik always leaves a tiny branch of the cedar tree at places they have visited or upon people whom they have killed or played a practical joke on. The Duwamish Tribe at one time related that some of their women had been stolen. The Seeahtik in a rage killed 12 of the Duwamish Tribe by ripping them in two. Mr. James’ mother, who is still alive was a witness to the tragedy. She said:
“They took our young men like toys, turning them upside down and ripping them in two like a piece of calico. Never again did the Duwamish Tribe seek revenge when their women and babies were stolen by these Snayihum or Indians of the night and brothers to the Noseless one.”
“It was a custom of theirs to steal dried salmon from the Lummi Indians,” said Mr. James. “The Seeahtiks are tall, hairy creatures and are great travelers.”
Tradition of the Pacific Coast Indians bears out the fact that they were animals at one time, and during the process of evolution when they were changing from the animal to man the Seeahtiks did not absorb the Tamanaweis or soul power, and thus they became an anomaly in the process of evolution.