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Reviews and Press for Return to the Land of the Head Hunters

The Seattle Times, April 2, 2014, “Book Re-Examines Vilified Film about First Nations People”
http://seattletimes.com/html/thearts/2023283255_edwardcurtisheadhuntersxml.html

The Victoria Times Colonist, October 26, 2014, "Author's Groundbreaking Film Captured First Nation"
http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/books/author-s-groundbreaking-film-captured-first-nation-1.1467014

Watch this space for more press links

 

2013-15 Head Hunter Press

Rutgers Today, “Rescuing a Film Classic Nearly Lost to History”
http://sas.rutgers.edu/news-a-events/feature-archive/1651-rescuing-a-film-classic-nearly-lost-to-history

The Bert Barron Show, “NJ Film Festival Screening of In the Land of the Head Hunters: Interview with Brad Evans,” February 27, 2014.
http://www.curtisfilm.rutgers.edu/images/stories/audio/BertBarronShow.mp3

Audio-Visual Heritage Association of British Columbia
100th Anniversary Screening of In the Land of the Head Hunters
http://avbcheritage.com/2014/11/09/100th-anniversary-of-in-the-land-of-the-head-hunters/

 

French Film Release in 2013

Blog post by Oliver Farry (re: French release): http://underachievement.blogspot.fr/2013/12/in-land-of-head-hunters-edward-s-curtis.html (reposted at http://www.berfrois.com/2013/12/restoration-revamped/)

 

Rutgers Screening in 2014

Rutgers Today, “Rescuing a Film Classic Nearly Lost to History.”
http://sas.rutgers.edu/news-a-events/feature-archive/1651-rescuing-a-film-classic-nearly-lost-to-history

February 27, 2014: “NJ Film Festival Screening of In the Land of the Head Hunters: Interview with Brad Evans.” The Bert Barron Show, The Voice Talk Radio (WCTC 1450AM)
http://www.curtisfilm.rutgers.edu/images/stories/audio/BertBarronShow.mp3

 

Vancouver Screenings in December 2014

December 4, 2014: "The Early Edition," CBC Radio, interview with Colin Browne.
http://www.cbc.ca/earlyedition/pastepisodes/

December 5, 2014: “In the Land of the Headhunters: B.C.'s first feature film celebrates 100 years.” CBC News.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/in-the-land-of-the-headhunters-b-c-s-first-feature-film-celebrates-100-years-1.2860859

December 5, 2014: “100-year-old feature film on B.C. aboriginals gets long-overdue second run.” The Vancouver Sun.
http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/movie-guide/year+feature+film+aboriginals+gets+long+overdue+second/10441069/story.html

December 5, 2014: “Historic B.C. aboriginal feature film celebrates centenary: In the Land of the Head Hunters.” Straight.com.
https://www.straight.com/blogra/784611/historic-bc-aboriginal-feature-film-celebrates-centenary-land-head-hunters

 

Concordia Screening in March 2015

Athina Lugez, "The Hunt Begins Again: Canada's Earliest Film Restored and Presented at Concordia," The Link: Concordia's Independent Newspaper
http://thelinknewspaper.ca/article/6886

 

Back to Archival Film Scenarios

 

Revised Scenario

[Note: With some exceptions, this scenario conforms pretty closely to the final structure of the film (compare with Appendix 4 in our book, which lists all of the title cards in the restored film). The numbered scenes correspond to those in the planned Shooting Schedule (Document 2), while the starred (*) scenes—present in the original typescript—largely correspond to the “List of Scenes Made in 1913” (Document 4), suggesting that this scenario was used to guide initial filming and was then annotated, and possibly revised further, following the 1913 field season and before final filming was completed in the summer of 1914. It still contains a few scenes or shots missing from the final film as we know it, although it is not clear whether that material was never shot, or if it was shot and is simply missing from extant prints (due to editorial excision or subsequent damage); some missing footage is indicated by the Library of Congress copyright frames, so the discrepancies between this scenario and the film may be a result of a combination of circumstances.]

[Sixteen numbered manuscript pages]

PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY
Kenáda, chief of Watsúlis Village
Mótana, son of Kenáda
Wáket, chief of Paás Village
Naïda, daughter of Wáket
Yáklus, warrior-chief of Yílis Village
The Daughter of Yáklus [Note: in the final film, the love triangle featured the Sorcerer’s Daughter instead.]
The Sorcerer, brother of Yáklus
A Young Slave

 

1-8. Portraits of Kenáda, Motana, Waket, Naida, Yaklus, The Daughter of Yaklus, The Sorcerer, The Slave
9. The Thunderbird Dancer (masked figure) [Note: this list includes more masked figures than appeared in the final film.]
10. The Mountain-goat Dancer (masked figure)
11. The Grizzly-bear Dancer (masked figure)
12. The Tsónokwa (masked figure)
13. The Wild Man (masked figure)
14. The Raven (masked figure)
15. The Wolf (masked figure)
16. Early morning scene on the beach at Watsúlis Village. Middle distance, the chief’s house, with a striking totem pole in front. Further away, a street of houses with background of dense forest. A gravel beach cove, enclosed by rocky points. The chief Kenáda and his son Mótana come out and walk slowly down toward a small canoe. From another canoe a man brings to the chief a gift of several salmon; Another man brings a chest of food, and another deer. Groups of women and children walk up and down the street, and several children play on the beach. Two women land from a small canoe with baskets full of clams. In from of houses, other women at a fire baking clams. Two children paddling about in a tiny canoe. Party of men in big canoe land and pass up to chief’s house. Mixed party of five or six embark in a large canoe and paddle slowly away. Kenáda and Mótana pass on to the small canoe for which they were heading.

MÓTANA DEPARTS ON HIS QUEST FOR A VISION, IN ORDER T0 OBTAIN THE FAVOR OF THE SPIRITS

17. Mótana steps into canoe and paddles off slowly, while his father gazes after him. 
*18. He approaches a steep cliff, lands, and climbs up a difficult trail to a high point. 

BEGINNING HIS FAST, MÓTANA BUILDS A PRAYER FIRE AND IMPLORES THE SPIRITS

*19. On the high, bold promontory overlooking the sea, with small islands in the distance, Mótana builds a large prayer fire. The figure is outlined against the sky, and the picture is magnificent, as well as strikingly dramatic. He stands erect, making his invocation to the spirits, dances, and then lies down beside the fire to sleep.

20.

In the smoke appears a vision; a young woman approaches him in a canoe. He awakens, the dream is gone. Exit down the cliff.

THE VISION IS A REALITY

21. Rocky shore at the foot of the cliff. Mótana enters. In the distance appears a canoe. It approaches, Naïda paddling. When Mótana perceives that she is the girl of his vision, he starts visibly, and stares at her. As she passes close, he tosses a token into the canoe, and she moves on out of the picture. He pushes off his own canoe and follows her. 
22. The two canoes land, and Naïda and Mótana walk together toward the forest, hand in hand. 
23. Behind a great rock or gnarled stump The Sorcerer crouches, digging roots. He perceives the lovers land and as they walk past him, unobserving, he creeps out and watches them with an evil look and a threatening gesture. Mótana turns, sees The Sorcerer, starts, and then goes on with Naïda.

THE SORCERER HIMSELF LOVES NAIDA, AND PLOTS TO DESTROY MOTANA

24. In the deep Forest. The Sorcerer and two or three others crouched about a small fire, plotting against the life of Mótana. With a few words and a gesture, exit a man.
25. The man who left the conspirators in 24 is seen speaking to the daughter of Yaklus. She nods her head in assent and begins to put on her ornaments. 
26. Mótana making love to Naïda as they sit on a log beside a forest brook. 
27. Mótana and Naïda on the shore. He explains that he must now continue his search for a vision. They exchange tokens, the girl embarks and paddles off, while Mótana stands on the rocks and gazes after her canoe as it disappears against the western light. 

MÓTANA CONTINUES HIS VIGIL BY JOURNEYING TO THE ISLAND OF THE DEAD

28. Mótana at sea in his canoe. A picture of striking light effects. 
29. He lands on the shore of the Island of the Dead.
30. He makes his difficult way through the woods. 
31. He reaches a lake, wades into the water, swims and emerges dripping.

THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD 

32. He enters the House of the Dead, which is lined with rows of mummies. 
33. He takes a mummy on his back, wades into the water, and swims with it on his back. [Note: this shot is not in the film.]
34. He replaces the mummy, and lies down on a bed of skulls.

STILL WITHOUT A VISION, MÓTANA DECIDES TO SEEK IT AT THE LAKE OF THE NIMKISH [Note: this set of scenes is not in the film.]

35. He is seen making his way up stream on a rocky bank of a swift river. 
36. Suddenly two or three canoes manned by warriors come in sight ahead of him. Seeing him, they raise the war cry and ply their paddles vigorously. 
37. Mótana turns and runs back a short distance to a canoe on the edge of the river. Pushes off, leaps in, and makes for rapids below. 
38. Running the rapids. (Camera in canoe in front of Motana’s, looking back) 
39. Running the rapids (camera in canoe behind the whole party.) 
40. Mótana successfully shoots the most dangerous rapid. Pursuers capsize. Some of them drown, others are seen crawling out of half submerged rocks. (Camera close by shore.)

MÓTANA TRAVELS TO STONY ISLAND

41. Canoe travelling. 
*42. Mótana climbing a steep, rocky trail. On a high point he builds a fire. He dances, sways with hands outstretched to the sky, drops to knees with arms in same position, and nods head as if satisfied. Sinks to sleep. 
43. The daughter of Yáklus is seen completing her adornment with trinkets.
44. The Sorcerer and his men in the forest. Enter the messenger, shortly followed by a woman. He explains what is to be done. 

“GET A LOCK OF MOTANA’S HAIR, AND WITH IT WE WILL KILL HIM”

45. The Sorcerer hands her a small knife, makes a gesture of command and dismissal, she nods comprehension and assent, and exit. 
*46. Mótana sleeping by his fire. Enter the woman, gazes at him an instant, and registers sudden infatuation. Hides her knife.

SHE RESOLVES TO SPARE THE HANDSOME YOUTH AND MAKE HIM LOVE HER 

*47. She glides up to him, rouses him, and attempts to caress him. 
*48. He repulses her, and she goes off in anger, with a threatening gesture.
Mótana returns to sleep.
*49. The woman creeps up, cuts off a lock of his hair, takes his head-band, and exit.

MÓTANA DISCOVERES THE THEFT 

50. He awakes, discovers the loss, makes a gesture of fear, and hurries off.
51. The Sorcerer’s fire in the forest. Enter the daughter of Yáklus, with lock of hair and head-band.  She delivers them to her uncle.

“LET MÓTANA ROT AS HIS HAIR ROTS WITH THESE TOADS!” 

52. The men produce several toads, stuff the hair and the bits of the band into the mouths, pinch the lips of the toads between the two halves of a split stick, lash the pieces firmly together, and secret the whole under the roots of a tree. 

MÓTANA RETURNS TO HIS FATHER

53. The canoe journey home shows a striking scenic and light effects, changing from sunset to night, and again to sunrise as he draws near the village. 
*54. At Watsúlis.  A man on the beach, gazing seaward, starts as if he has discovered something. He turns toward the houses and shots, with excited gestures. The people come running, foremost being the chief Kenáda and his wife. As they crowd the beach, Mótana comes into picture. He rises, stands upright in the stern, a handsome figure, with paddle in hand and a fur robe draped carelessly from his shoulders. An expression of religious devotion and successful accomplishment on his face. He steps out, his parents embrace him, and lead him up the beach, the people following.

MÓTANA TELLS OF HIS LOVE FOR NAÏDA, AND OF THE SORCERER’S THREATS AND EFFORTS TO TAKE HIS LIFE

*55. On the beach, enter Mótana and Kenáda, converses seriously with him. Suddenly, Kenáda turns, shouting excitedly, stamping the ground, and his men begin to swarm about him. 
*56. Men push off large canoes, leap in, and paddle away, while women on shore wave farewell. 

EN ROUTE TO ASK NAÏDA IN MARRIAGE, AND TO TAKE VENGEANCE ON THE SORCERER

*57. Canoes enroute. 
*58. Fleet rounding a point of rocks and landing in bay for the night. Warriors disembark.

MESSENGERS GO TO DEMAND NAÏDA 

59. Two small canoes, each bearing a messenger, leave the fleet. Messengers stand amidships, with tall, carved, speaker’s-staffs. 
60. Messenger canoes at rest on the water before the village Paás. Messengers stand erect and one is just concluding a speech with forceful gestures of his staff.

“NAÏDA IS PROMISED TO THE SORCERER.  IF YOU WANT HER, BRING HIS HEAD AS A MARRIAGE OFFERING.”

61. Wáket, standing beside his totem pole, vigorously haranging the men in the canoes. With a final gesture, he bids them depart and cut off the head of The Sorcerer. 
62. Messengers rejoin the fleet, and with gestures convey the information that the head of the Sorcerer must be taken.

KENÁDA AND HIS MEN START FOR YILIS, TO TAKE THE HEAD OF THE SORCERER

63. Fleet putting to sea.

THE BATTLE

64.68. Battle scenes, all night. Warriors creep upon village. Break in doors and rush into houses; reappear dragging captive women and children, waving gory heads, carrying sheets and masks and other spoils. Men fleeing into the woods behind the houses, pursued by warriors with spears and clubs.

KENÁDA RETURNS TO DEMAND NAÏDA 

69. The party lands at Paás. Kenáda, standing in canoe, shakes the head of The Sorcerer, dances with the head, and throws it to Waket. Naïda stands in foreground and registers alternate horror, exultation, and pride.

COUNTING OUT THE BETROTHAL GIFT 

70. Kenáda’s men in the house of Wáket, counting out great piles of blankets from their chests, and piling them before Waket. Naïda on a raised seat occupies the most prominent position; striking head-dress of shells and feathers.
71. Women in various ceremonial costumes dance in front of the girl; Wáket directs servants to gather up the blankets.
72. Departure of Kenáda’s party. 

[Note: On the typescript, the following two headings (scenes 73-82) are bracketed with pencil and the words “not included in picture” are written in the margin. It is not clear whose annotation this is or when it was made.]

A NEW HOUSE FOR THE YOUNG CHIEF MOTANA

73. Two men cutting giant cedar in dense forest, with bone chisels and stone hammers. Naked, except for scanty bark blanket around the loins. Tree falls toward camera. 
74. Splitting planks off the log. 
75. Transporting timbers and planks to the beach. 
76. Towing the timbers. 
77. Carving the totem house-posts. 
78. Erecting the house-posts. 
79. Raising the long, heavy timbers into place. 
80. Placing wall boards. 
81. Laying roof boards.

DEDICATION OF THE NEW HOUSE. 

82. The whole tribe assembled in the house, seated in dense rows, all dressed in the primitive costumes – bark and fur blankets, shell nose-rings and ear-rings. Enormous, wooden feasting dishes full of food. Tremendous fire in the centre. Feasting and dancing. 
83. Embarkment of wedding party in many canoes. Loading of great quantities of blankets, chests, etc., for the wedding gift. 
84. Watchers on a lookout platform at Paás. Some gaze seaward, shading eyes with hands.

APPROACH OF THE BRIDEGROOM’S PARTY. CANOE OF THE THUNDERBIRD CLAN

*85. In the bow of leading canoe stands a man dressed in the feathered suit and wooden mask of the Thunderbird, flapping his great wings and making characteristic gestures with wings and masked head. 
86. Watchers on the lookout platform at Paás. Sudden excitement among them, signifying discovery of the approaching canoes. Some turn towards the houses and shout the news, while others run to the village. 
87. The canoes draw close.

A SHAM BATTLE BETWEEN THE BRIDEGROOM’S PARTY AND THE BRIDE’S FRIENDS [Note: this scene is not in the film.] 

88. Canoes filled with men hastily put off and make toward the visitors. 
89. A fierce fight between the opposing canoes. A canoe from Paás is capsized, a chief is dragged into one of the visiting canoes, as if he were a captive, and the bridegroom’s party raise a victorious shout, while their contestants admit defeat while withdrawing. 
90. Led by the Thunderbird dancer, the party files back into the house of Waket. 
91. In the house. People assembled, piles of blankets here and there. Naïda in state on a painted settee. Two men deposit a last heap of blankets, Wáket makes a gesture toward his daughter, and several of Kenáda’s men lift her seat and carry her toward the door. 
92. The men carry the bride on her seat and place her thus on the bow of one of the canoes. The rest of the party embark.

THE RETURN OF THE WEDDING PARTY TO WATSULIS 

*93. The bride stands in the stern beside her husband, Motana, while on the painted settee in the bow a young woman in fur blanket dances. The crews hold the blades of their paddles in air and thump rhythmically on the gunwales with the handles. People of the village flock down to greet the young wife. Led by the dancing woman, the procession moves toward the totem pole of Kenáda’s house. Last comes the young wife, sitting on her painted seat and carried by four men. Mótana walks at her side. 
94. Full length view of the totem pole.

THE WEDDING PARTY ENTERS KENÁDA’S HOUSE THROUGH THE RAVEN’S MOUTH 

*95. One by one they step upon the lower jaw of the huge raven at the bottom of the pole. As each one walks in, his weight causes the jaw to work on a pivot, so that the jaws close with a snap. Thus the Raven of Kenáda swallows all the guests.

YÁKLUS PREPARES TO AVENGE THE DEATH OF THE SORCERER 

96. War party assembling on the beach at Yílis.

THE CLAM DIGGERS
[Note: In the film, the attacks on the clam diggers and fisherman are in the reverse sequence.]

97. Three women and a child digging clams at the water’s edge. When the war party comes into sight around a rocky point, the women are too terrified to flee. They cling to one another, covering the child with their arms. The warriors leap ashore, fell one of the women with a club, throw the others into the canoe, and push off.

THE FISHERMEN 

98. A man half reclining in a small anchored canoe, holding a fishline. Suddenly the war canoe appears, bearing down upon him. He catches sight of it and begins frantically to haul up his anchor. But before he can escape, they swoop down upon him. A young warrior makes a flying leap forward into the fisherman’s canoe and capsizes it. The fisherman is clubbed on the head and dragged into the war canoe, which proceeds onward, leaving the fisherman’s craft overturned on the water.

[Note: In the typescript, the following section (scenes 99-100) is crossed out in pencil with the word “out.”]

THE DEVILFISH HUNTERS

99. A man, woman, youth and child on rocky shore. Man and youth prodding about under a large rock with a sharp rod. The youth drives an octopus out of its den, and kills it. Youth wears a head-dress that will serve to identify him in subsequent scenes. The war canoe is discovered. They flee into the woods. The party lands and follows. 
100. The warriors emerge from the forest, one waving a gory head, others leading the youth, woman and child.

ATTACK ON THE VILLAGE OF KENÁDA 

101. The village just before dawn. No sign of life.
102. War canoe sweeps into the cove. Warriors leap out and rush toward the houses. 
103. Interior of a house. A man lies dead. Women and children cowering. Warriors tearing open bundles and chests, and binding captives. One grasps hair of dead man and raises his long knife to behead him.
104. The warrior savagely brandishes the severed head. Two others appear, dragging Naïda. One repulses the other and retains the girl.
105. The captor of Naïda, on the beach, binds her hands and feet and leaves   her in a canoe with the Slave, the captive octopus hunter. Exit running, as if for more spoils. 
106. The rival warrior steals Naïda and carries her to his own canoe. His opponent rushes down, the fight. Her original owner takes her back to his canoe. 
107. Kenáda, wounded, appears at the door of his house. An arrow strikes him, he falls dead.
108. Village burning.  A large wooden house with its totem pole, all in flames. The totem pole crashes forward, the walls fall. 
109. The visitors depart with slaves and booty and heads.    
110. A few straggling survivors creep out of the woods and congregate in front of the chief’s house. Mótana, apparently lifeless, is carried on. An old woman perceives that he still breathes, she calls, and an old medicine-man examines him. Nods his head. 
111. Several medicine-men singing over Mótana, with rattles in hand. Mótana opens his eyes, attempts to sit up.

“WHERE IS NAIDA?”

112. Mótana regards the people with questioning eyes. They drop to the ground, bow their heads, cover their faces with their hands, shake their heads, and point to the smoking ruins.  He attempts to rise, they assist him to his feet, and support him as he hobbles to the burned house. 
113. Mótana is seen in the smoke. His helpers flee. He falls. 
114. Mótana drags himself out of the smouldering ruins. He looks back, stretches out his arms, and then covers his face with his hands. 

WHILE GAMBLERS AT YÍLIS ARE AT PLAY, THE VICTORIOUS
WAR PARTY IS SIGHTED

*115. A row of a dozen naked men playing the hand-gambling game, while women and children look on. Action intensely vehement. Enter a youth, panting and excited. Delivers a brief message, and points seaward. The men leap up, and the entire party runs out. 
*116. The gamblers stand in a group on a high bluff overlooking the bay, and outlined against the sky, gazing out to sea. 
117. The war canoes approach in the distance. 
118. The canoes pass the camera, Naïda prominent, the Slave beside her. 
119. Women on shore, dancing exultingly and waving welcome. 
120. War party marching to the village, leading prisoners and displaying trophies and booty.

IN HONOR OF THE VICTORY, YÁKLUS ANNOUNCES A DANCE 

121.136. A succession of brief scenes showing various kinds of masked dancers in action. Some represent animals, wearing lifelike costumes of fur and feathers, and other represent imaginary monsters of sea and forest. All are unusual, striking, and the characteristic action of the animals is imitated with great fidelity. Included in these scenes are:
  • The Wind Dancer.
  • Raven and “Curved Beak.”
  • Tsónokwa the ogress, and Grizzly-bear.
  • Thunderbird, Mountain-goat, Wolf, Whale, Killerwhale, Bullhead, Tsónokwa, Dog, and Grizzly-bear (a group picture.) 

THE FIRE DANCE. THE FIRE DANCER HATES FIRE AND STAMPS IT OUT WITH BARE HANDS AND FEET. HIS ATTENDANTS SEEK TO RESTRAIN HIM

*137. A large, blazing fire, background of forest. Enter the Fire Dancer,  crouching like a wild beast. His shoulders and hair and grasped by attendants, as if to restrain this madman. He however drags them toward the fire, always crouching and creeping. With bare hands he seizes the flaming brands and scatters them hither and thither until none is left. Then with bare hands he smothers the very embers until not a spark remains. 
138. In the chief’s house, the dancers display the scalps and heads brought back by the warriors. Naïda prominent. The excitement grows to madness.

THE REVELERS DEMAND NAÏDA’S HEAD 

139. Some of the young men, dancing with the trophies, point excitedly to Naïda. She, terror-stricken, clings to the Slave. She is torn away by angry women. 
140. Yáklus, shaking a head in each hand, harangues the mob. Naïda breaks away from the women and throws herself at the chief’s feet. 

YÁKLUS COMMANDS NAÏDA TO DANCE FOR HER LIFE

141. Yáklus addresses the prostrate girl. The young Slave, listening, registers horror and pity. 
142. Naïda dances, with more and more abandon. Excitement grows intense. Youth watches her eagerly, and Yáklus becomes entranced with her. She falls exhausted, and Yáklus makes a gesture of approval. 
143. The Thunderbird drives all the dancers away. Naïda remains crouching. Exit Yaklus, followed by all others. 
144. The Slave glides in, showing apprehension and moving with extreme caution. He touches her arm. She looks up and listens to him. She produces the token which Mótana gave her, gives it to him, and makes a gesture of dismissal. Exit the slave. 
145. The edge of the forest. Enter the Slave, running, with signs of terror and exhaustion. He climbs to the crotch of a large cedar, and conceals himself. Enter pursuers, halt under the tree, and hold council. Scatter in several directions, with heads bent and eyes on ground. 
146. Night in the forest. Pursuers searching for fugitive. 
147. Near a rocky shore, the slave drifts past camera, supporting himself on a log, only shoulder and head showing. He rises a little, looks back, and then quickly draws down until only the top of his head is visible. A canoe with his pursuers enters, on the opposite side of the log, so that to them he is invisible. They land and plunge into the forest. The Slave swims ashore, gets into canoe, and paddles off. His pursuers appear on shore, shoot arrows after him. He crouches low in canoe, arrows pass over his head. One strikes him in arm. 
148. Glimpse of the young slave as he hurries on, arrow shaft apparently protruding from back of arm. 
149. He lands at Watsúlis, exhausted, almost naked, blood running down arm and side. Staggers, falls, and calls, “Mótana, Mótana!” Enter Mótana, running. The Slave produces the token from his girdle, points off, and faints.

“WHO WILL HELP ME RESCUE MY WIFE?” 

150. Mótana turns from prostrate slave, and utters a shout. Men come running from the house, shouting and brandishing weapons. They gather at a canoe. 
151. The men embark. The Slave attempts to accompany them, but Mótana gently refuses. Slave’s arm wrapped in bark bandage. He waves farewell. 
152. Mótana and his men landing at night in Yílis. While the others remain at the canoe, Mótana goes toward the village. 
153. Mótana creeping up to the chief’s house. 
154. Interior. Yáklus asleep. Naïda by his side, half raised, leaning on one elbow. She looks fearfully at Yaklus, rises further, and slips from the bed. She glides cautiously toward the door. A knife lying on the floor attracts her attention. She picks it up, examines it, turns toward Yaklus, and starts to go back as if to kill him. 
155. Mótana outside the door, listening. 
156. Naïda is startled by a slight noise, turns quickly toward the door. 
157. Mótana opens the door slightly. Firelight illuminates his face at the crack of the door. 
158. Naïda drops knife in terror, as door begins to open. When Motana’s face appears, she flies to meet him. The door opens wider, and she hurries out. 
159. Hand in hand they creep away, then rise and run swiftly to the canoe. 
160. Yáklus awakens. Discovers the absence of Naida. Calls. A slave enters, and searches for the girl. Yáklus rages. People swarm into the house and all rush for the door. 
161. People run down to the beach. One points out the marks left by the canoe of Motana, and the footprints. 
162. Two canoes start in pursuit. 
163. Glimpse of the canoes as they race along. 
164. Motana’s canoe in tide rips of a narrow channel. It passes safely. 
165. The pursuing canoes capsize in the tide rips. Close view of Yaklus’ face as he struggles in the water and gives up. 
166. Motana’s canoe in calm water.  Moonlight. Mótana in the stern lays down his paddle, and tenderly arranges a fur blanket around Naida’s shoulders. 

Back to Archival Film Scenarios

Back to Archival Film Scenarios

List of Scenes Made in 1913.

[Note: Most of the following scenes are listed in the Shooting Schedule (Document 2), although that document also includes scenes not represented here. This suggests that the Shootings Schedule had been prepared prior to the 1913 season and that not all of the anticipated scenes were shot at that time.]

[Two numbered manuscript pages]

Titles of Scenes made in 1913

Preceding Scene           The Thunderbird Dancer

The Mountain-goat Dancer

The Grizz1y-bear Dancer
The Tsonokwa
The Wild Men
The Raven
The Wolf

Beginning his fast, Motana builds a prayer fire and implores the spirits

"Depart!” I am not thinking of women, but of the spirits."

Motana returns to his father

Motana tells of his love for Naïda and of the Sorcerer’s threats and efforts to take his life

En route to ask Naïda in marriage, and to take vengeance on the Sorcerer

Approach of the bridegroom’s party led by the canoe of the Thunderbird clan

Return of the wedding party to Watsúlis

The wedding party enters Kenada’s house through the Raven's mouth

The fisherman

The clam diggers

While gamblers at Yílis are at play, the victorious war party is sighted

The Wind dancer

The Raven and the "Curved Beak"

The Fire Dance. The Fire Dancer hates fire, end stamps it out with bare hands and feet. His attendants restrain him.

Motana discovers the theft.

Tsonokwa the ogress, and Grizzly-bear

Thunderbird, Mountain-goat, Wolf, Whale, Killerwhale, Bullhead, Tsonokwa, Dog, and Grizzly-bear

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Film Synopsis and Shooting Schedule

[Note: This brief synopsis does not feature Vancouver’s arrival, so it was likely written after the Long Scenario (Document 1). The scene numbers in the Shooting Schedule correspond to the scenes as numbered in the Revised Scenario (Document 3), reinforcing the sequence as presented here. The typescript was transcribed and included in Holm and Quimby (1980: Appendix 3), with the minor variations that we note below. It is not clear whether Holm and Quimby worked from the same manuscript now at the Getty Research Institute (GRI) or a slightly different version of it.]

[One manuscript page]

Outline for scenario

of a three to five-reel (3000 to 5000 ft.) Motion Picture, it being presumed that this can be arranged for a full evening's entertainment or for a shorter time if needed.


[Outline for Scenario]
[Note: The GRI manuscript includes the following three paragraphs on one page, which are missing from Holm and Quimby. In fact the GRI includes a few slightly different variations on this page of text scattered throughout the Curtis collection.]

Geography of picture: The shores of Vancouver Island. Rocky, abrupt shoreline; in places, open beach. Narrow waterways, many small islands, in places heavy surf. Shore-line practically a virgin forest. Trees of great size, undergrowth so dense that it makes a veritable jungle.

Tribes live in many small villages scattered here and there at the edge of the water
on the bays and inlets. Natives large, vigorous, good-looking; temperament
vicious and sensual; proud to a degree, saturated with superstition, wrapped in ritualistic forms. Constant intertribal and intervillage warfare. They were head-hunters, and cannibalistic. Travel wholly by canoe, large and small. Depend largely on the sea for food; fish, shellfish, seal, porpoise, whale. Skilled in working wood with primitive tools.

Clothing: Men wore a single blanket of fur or woven from the bark of cedar-bark. Women used same type of blanket, and also went about wearing simply a cedar-bark skirt. A rain cape - poncho-like - made from the cedar-bark, was used by both sexes. Great wealth of most extraordinary ceremonial costumes. These are largely the masked characters participating in the ceremonies. Warriors dressed in striking and distinctive ways. War implements were short spears which could be used in canoes, war- clubs, bows and arrows, and war slings. The last were used for throwing heavy stones a great distance.

[Note: The following paragraph is transcribed in Holm and Quimby but is missing from the GRI manuscript. We include it here for completeness assuming that it exists in some other versions of this document].

On the shores of the North Pacific is the title of the coming dissolving effect. The opening picture is of a woman paddling her canoe along the moonlit waters, half in the shadow of the somber forest which touches the water' s edge in the way of this region. As her canoe glides silently through the waters she hears the revelry of the village which she is approaching. There appears the moonlit village with its long line of totem poles, and the fires gleaming before and in the many houses. Then we see approaching the village across the moonlit waters the visiting chief with the head-men of his tribe. They are singing songs of pride and greeting, and are answered by songs of welcome from the village.


[One page]

Outline of the Story

Motana, son of Kenada (Watsulis), falls in love with Naida, daughter of Waket (Paas). The Sorcerer, brother of Yaklus (Yilis), also desires her, and plots to kill Motana. While Motana sleeps, the Sorcerer's niece steals his neckband and a lock of hair. He reports this evident attempt on his life to his father, who sends men to demand Naida and to kill the Sorcerer. Yilis village is attacked, and the head of the Sorcerer is brought to Waket.

Bethrothal of Motana and Naida; building of house for them; dedicatory feast and dancing. Bridegroom's party goes to Paas; sham battle; wedding; return to Watsulis.

Yaklus sends warparty to avenge his brother. Killing or enslavement of clam diggers, fisherman, devilfish hunters. Attack on Watsulis at dawn. Capture of Naida, death of Kenada, wounding of Motana. The warparty returns to Yilis and a dance of victory is held. (Various masked characters.) Naida sends a fellow captive to beg Motana to rescue her. He is pursued, but escapes and reaches home. Motana raises a small party, rescues Naida, is pursued by Yaklus, whose canoes are overwhelmed in rapids.


[Shooting Schedule. Three numbered manuscript pages]
30 men, 20 women, painted canoes

{one day}

At Watsulis [sequence of scenes]
Village street 16
Return of Motana 54
Talk with Kenada 55
Departure of canoes 56
Canoes en route 57
Landing for night 58
Messenger canoe leaves fleet 59
||              ||     rejoins fleet    62
Fleet puts to sea 63
Departure of bridegroom’s party 83

 {one day}

Wedding canoe returns with bride 93
View of totem pole 94
Entering the Raven’s mouth  95
At Red Bluff
Thunderbird dancer in canoe  85
Close approach of canoes  87

 {one day}

At Blunden Harbor (take over 2 new totems)
Attack on Yilis 64-68
Kenada brings back head 69
Watchers on platform 84
||         ||        || 86
Canoe leaves shore 88
Sham fight on water 89
Bridegroom’s party enters house 90

 {one day}

At Kwaestums
Hand-to-hand fight on a bluff Camera in stern of pursuing canoe. Fugitives clamber up cliff. Two men plunge off into water.
Scene revolving around tsonokwa -
At Tsatsisnuqumi
Dances, 10-12 people, old house -

{two days}

In artificial house of Waket
Bethrothal gift 70
Women dances 71
Departure of bridegroom’s party 72
Paying for the bride 91
Carrying bride to canoe 92
In artificial house of Motana
Feast and dance in new house  82
In artificial house of Yaklus
Masked dances 121-126
Fire dancer 137
Display of heads and scalps 138
Demand the death of Naida 139
Naida dances before Yaklus 142
Thunderbird dismisses dancers 143
Yaklus discovers flight of Naida 160
Rush of people to the beach 161
Looting of a house   103 [Note: Holm and Quimby are missing the scene # here]

30 men, 20 women, blackened canoes

{one day}

At Watsulis [sequence of scenes]
Yaklus warriors swoop into bay 102
Capture of Naida 104
Naida dragged to canoe 105
Fight between rival claimants 106
Kenada killed 107
Burning house, falling totem 108
Victors depart 109
Survivors find Motana, wounded 110
Motana seeks Naida in flames 112
Motana falls in the smoke 113
Motana drags himself out 114

{one day}

At Shell Island or Red Bluff
Clam diggers 97
The fishermen 98
The devilfish hunters 99
Warriors with gory head 100
At some beach (supposedly Yilis) to be selected
Yaklus warparty assembling 96
Returning war canoes 117
War canoes, Naida and Slave 118
Women dancing on shore 119
Prisoners led to village 120

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