Kawchodinne Tribe

Search Fold3 for your
Native American Records

Kawchodinne Indians, Kawchodinne People, Kawchodinne First Nation (ka ‘hare’, cho ‘great’, dinne ‘people’: ‘people of the great hares’). An Athapascan tribe dwelling north of Great Bear Lake, Mackenzie Territory, Canada, on Mackenzie river, the lakes east of it, and Anderson river. Mackenzie said they were a small tribe residing on Peace river, who spoke the language of the Chipewyan and derived their name from the Arctic hare, their chief means of support. At another time[1] he placed them on Porcupine river, Alaska. Franklin[2] placed them immediately north of the Thlingchadinne on the north side of the outlet of Bear lake. Back[3] located them on Mackenzie river as far north as 68°. Richardson[4] gave their habitat as the banks of Mackenzie river from Slave lake downward. Hind[5] said they resorted to Ft Norman and Ft Good Hope on the Mackenzie, and also to Ft Yukon, Alaska. Ross[6] said they resided in 1859 in the country surrounding Ft Good Hope on Mackenzie river, extending beyond the Arctic circle, where they came in contact with the Kutchin, with whom by intermarriage they have formed the tribe of Bastard Loucheux (Nellagottine). Petitot[7] said the Kawchodinne lived on the lower Mackenzie from Ft Norman to the Arctic ocean.

The Kawchodinne Indians are described as a thickset people, who subsist partly on fish and reindeer, but obtain their clothing and most of their food from the hares that abound in their country. Their language differs little from that of the Etchareottine, while their style of dress and their customs are the same, although through long intercourse with the traders, for whom they have great respect, most of the old customs and beliefs of the tribe have become extinct. They are on friendly terms with the Eskimo. The Kawchodinne have a legend of the formation of the earth by the muskrat and the beaver. The dead are deposited in a rude cage built above ground, the body being wrapped in a blanket or a moose skin; the property of relatives is destroyed, and their hair is cut as a sign of mourning. When the supply of hares becomes exhausted, as it frequently does, they believe these mount to the sky by means of the trees and return in the same way when they reappear. Polygamy is now rare. They are a peaceable tribe, contrasting with their Kutchin neighbors. In personal combat they grasp each other by their hair, which they twist round and round until one of the contestants falls to the ground. They are not so numerous as formerly, a great many having died from starvation in 1841, at which time numerous acts of cannibalism are said to have occurred. In 1858 Ross[8] gave the population as 467; 291 males, 176 females. Of these 103 resorted to Ft Norman and 364, to Ft Good Hope. Petitot[9] arranged them in five subdivisions:

  • Katagottine
  • Katchogottine
  • Nellagottine
  • Nigottine
  • Satchotugottine

In another list[10] instead of Nigottine he has Etatchogottine and Chintagottine. In a later grouping[11] Petitot identifies Katagottine with Chintagottine, suppresses Satchotugottine, and adds Kfwetragottine.

Footnotes

   (↵ returns to text)

  1. Mackenzie, Mass. Hist. Coll., II, 43, 1814
  2. Franklin, Journ. to Polar Sea, 261, 1824
  3. Back, Journal, 497, 1833-35
  4. Richardson, Arct. Exped., II, 3, 1851
  5. Hind, Lab. Penin., II, 261, 1863
  6. Ross, MS., B. A. E.
  7. Petitot, Dict. Dènè-Dindjie, XX, 1876
  8. Ross, MS. , B. A. E.
  9. Petitot, Dict. Dènè-Dindjie, XX, 1876
  10. Bull. Soc. Geog. Paris, 1875
  11. Petitot, Autour du lacdes Esclaves, 362, 1891


MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 2 August 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/kawchodinne-tribe.htm - Last updated on Jan 2nd, 2012


Categories: ,
Topics:
Locations: ,

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.