Kutchin Indians, Kutchin People, Kutchin First Nation (Kutchin = ‘people’). A group of Athapascan tribes in Alaska and British North America, inhabiting the region on the Yukon and its tributaries above Nuklukayet, the Peel river basin, and the lower Mackenzie valley. They have decreased to half their former numbers owing to wars between the tribes and the killing of female children. Chiefs and medicine-men and those who possess rank acquired by property have two or more wives. They usually live in large parties, each headed by a chief and having one or more medicine-men, the latter acquiring an authority to which even the chiefs are subject. Their dances and chants are rhythmical and their games are more manly and rational than those of their congeners. They have wrestling bouts which are begun by little boys, those next in strength coming on in turn until the strongest or freshest man in the band remains the final victor, after which the women go through the same progressive contest. They are exceedingly hospitable, keeping guests for months and each head of a family takes his turn in feasting the whole time, on which occasion etiquette requires him to fast until the guests have departed. The Kutchin tribes are:
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