Henry W. Tate (d. 1914) was a Tsimshian informant to ethnographer Franz Boas. Tate first wrote these stories in English before giving Boas the Tsimshian equivalent during the decade of 1903-1913. Boas published the stories in the much-consulted classic of ethnology, Tsimshian Mythology, in 1916. Through Ralph Maud’s selection of the best of Tate’s original stories, we can see the actual creative writer behind Boas’ revised texts, now preserved much closer to the way Tate originally intended.
Ralph Maud is Emeritus Professor of English and Associate of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University. He founded the Charles Olson Literary Society. He is the author of Charles Olson Reading (1996) and the editor of The Selected Letters of Charles Olson (2000.) He has edited much of Dylan Thomas’s work, including The Notebook Poems 1930–1934 and The Broadcasts, and is co-editor, with Walford Davies, of Dylan Thomas: The Collected Poems, 1934–1953 and Under Milk Wood. Maud is also the editor of The Salish People: Volumes I, II, III & IV by pioneer ethnographer Charles Hill-Tout. He has been a contributing editor to Coast Salish Essays by Wayne Suttles, The Chilliwacks and Their Neighbours by Oliver Wells, and is the author of A Guide to B.C. Indian Myth and Legend, and The Porcupine Hunter and Other Stories—a collection of Henry W. Tate’s stories in Tate’s original English, which grew out of his survey of Franz Boas’s Tsimshian work, published as an article: “The Henry Tate-Franz Boas Collaboration on Tsimshian Mythology” in American Ethnologist. Maud’s subsequently published book, Transmission Difficulties: Franz Boas and Tsimshian Mythology, expands further on the relationship between Henry Tate and Franz Boas.
?Maud acts as restorer, stripping away attitudes and prosody to reveal the vitality of the original text. ?
? Vancouver Sun
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