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Fish and Medicine Men

Accession number: 
Production Years: 


Film Properties: 
Length (feet): 
618 (35mm)
Holding Institutions: 

Library and Archives Canada: 35mm, 16mm, digibeta.
"Documentary on the salmon canning industry showing machinery replacing the old manual system. This documentary deals with the Indian fishing industry on the British Columbia coast. Shots of: the Indian village; the fishing harbour; and the salmon cannery manned by women. Sequences on village life, children, and old men. Shots of an Indian clergyman on the steps of Kincolith church, of medicine men dressing, dancing to a drummer's accompaniement, and curing a sick person lying under a tree. Footage includes: various shots of villages by lakes; the bay and a sailing boat; fish in the hold of a boat and an Indian fisherman; ancient wooden machinery moving fish - a sort of wooden elevator/hopper; workers in the cannery; the street of an Indian industrial village with wooden huts, Indian women carrying large sacks, and children; Indian women working in a canning factory; fish being canned manually; Indian fishermen in a boat; preparations for a fishing trip; the fishing fleet going out; Indian children in the village; women working at a primitive machine; Indian fishermen talking; sheet music for the song 'Thank You for the Buggy Ride'; and an Indian father looking at his baby. The title appears 'Nearby is Kincolith - it means the place of skulls, but it is a church town now'. Shots of: the wooden church with Indians standing outside; an Indian child; Indians in native costume walking up the village path; medicine men in ceremonial dress; medicine man dressing in ceremonial garb held in a wooden box; medicine men in the woods."


Motion Picture Distributors and Exhibitors of Canada, Canadian Motion Pictures 1914-1932 (June 1932), 5.

Peter Morris, Embattled Shadows: A History of Canadian Cinema, 1895-1939, p. 225, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1978.
"On Kwakiutl Indian life and the salmon fishing and canning industries of B.C."

Terry Ramsaye is also credited for the titles.