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Impearls: HIC 7.2.4: Feuds

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Earthdate 2005-11-12

Feuds   by A. L. Kroeber

What may be called wars were indulged in between Tolowa towns as readily as between them and alien villages, though it is likely that in the former case each side was likely to be limited to kinsmen, while an expedition for revenge against a Yurok or Karok settlement might unite inhabitants of a number of towns.

In the [eighteen] seventies there was a feud between the Crescent City village and one or more of those on Earl Lake.

Apparently before this was a war between Hinei and Rekwoi, the Tolowa and Yurok villages at the entrance to Smith and Klamath Rivers.  Blood relatives of the inhabitants, in other towns, no doubt took part; but it is significant that the other Tolowa villages, though in intermediate position, remained neutral as towns.  In one encounter, each party lost three men; in another, five were killed on one side, probably the Yurok one.  The occasion of this war was an old woman at Rekwoi, who by her magic stopped the salmon from going up Smith River.  Now that the quarrel is long since over, the Yurok appear to take the truth of the Hinei charge for granted — the old lady must have done so, or the Tolowa would not have become angry.  Moreover, she had lost relatives in former fighting against Hinei, and though this had been formally ended by money settlements for every one slain or injured, she was believed to cherish continued resentment in secret.

Rekwoi, and the still more northerly Yurok settlement of O'men, were, however, infiltrated with Tolowa blood, and reciprocally there were not a few Tolowa with Yurok wives, mothers, or grandmothers.  In the war between Rekwoi and Takimitlding village in Hupa, about 1830 or 1840, the greatest war of which the Yurok have recollection, allies from the lagoon and Smith River, that is, probably, Tolokwe and Hinei, sided with the Yurok against the Athabascan Hupa and Chilula.

The Karok about the mouth of Salmon River also have recollections of a war carried on between them and the Tolowa by surprise attacks across the Siskiyous, but hostile as well as friendly intercourse between these two peoples was infrequent.



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