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Hawaiian Influence on Indians

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Hawaiian influence – The establishment of the whale and seal fisheries of the N. Pacific coast led to the presence in that region of sailors and adventurers of the most diverse races and nationalities, many of whom came into more or less lasting contact with the natives of the country. Toward the middle of the 19th century (Hale, Oregon Trade Language, 19, 1890) the Hawaiian language was spoken by about 100 Sandwich Islanders employed as laborers about Ft. Vancouver, Wash. Doubtless some intermixture of these with the Indians took place. In 1891 there lived among the Kutenai an Indian nicknamed Kanaka. Murdoch (9th Rep. B. A. E., 55, 1892) notes that several Hawaiian words have crept into the jargon as used by the western Eskimo and white whalers and traders who come into contact with them, and one or two of these words have even come to be employed by the Pt Barrow Eskimo among themselves; but there is no evidence that the Chinook jargon contains a Hawaiian element. Swanton suggests that it is barely possible that the Haida custom of tattooing may have come from some Polynesian island, as its introduction is always said by the natives to be recent. Whether the idea of a ladder made of a chain of arrows, which occurs among the myths of Polynesians and the people of the N. W. coast, could have had a similar origin may be doubted, but it is nevertheless possible. The theory of Polynesian-American contact has been maintained by Ratzel, Schultz, and others, stress being laid on resemblances in art as exemplified by clubs, masks, etc., and in other ways. (A. F. C.)

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