ANCIENT VILLAGES AND TOTEM POLES OF THE NISG̱A'A

G̱alts’abim Gwinwoḵ - Village of Gwinwoḵ

N̓ihl k’il̓hl sim w̓ahlin-g̱alts’aphl Gwinwoḵ. T’aa g̱ageets’ihl Ank’idaa, g̱alax̱dilihl g̱alts’abim Lax̱g̱altsap. N̓ihl luu-w̓ayihl kw’ihl leex̱-wilit ts’im-mm̓aal ahl ḵ’alii-aksim Lisims. Ii n̓i wil k’ax̱ sgwaay̓tkwdiit ii woḵtdiit loot. N̓ig̱an wahl g̱alts’ap tgus ahl Gwinwoḵ.

Lax̱sgiik g̱anhl Gisḵ’aasthl g̱alts’abit loot. N̓ihl ḵ’ay w̓ii lay̓im g̱alts’ap sim gik’uuhl iit n̓ii-w̓ahl gitwiltgum Ts’imsanhl bagwit lax̱-mo’on. Ii n̓i wil daldiit, ii n̓i wil moojit luu-no’ot’indiit hli gadihl Gwinwoḵ. Mag̱oonhl 1800 wil wildiit. Naahl limootgwit, ii n̓idiithl lugwit ahl g̱alts’abim Ank’idaa. Sim wayt hli g̱ooḵhl dim wilhl Ts’imsan, ḵ’ay yukwhl hilthl Jits’aawit sim gik’uuhl. Iit n̓ii-w̓ahl gitwiltgum Jits’aawit n̓idiit iit sim luu-no’ot’indiithl gat, haanaḵ’ g̱anhl k’ubat k’ihlkw. N̓ig̱ant adigwil nax̱n̓ahl gat wil g̱alaaḵ’hl k’ubatk’ihlkw ahl g̱alts’ap tgus sa tgun.

Gwanim n̓ii-bax̱hl g̱alts’ap tgus tx̱aa n̓itkws wil pdaahl ḵ’alii-aksim Lisims n̓i wilt kwsdaḵsdiit. N̓i wilt gisi-dilukwdiithl gilp’ihl pts’aanhl Lax̱sgiik iit jag̱am-doḵ diit ahl g̱alts’abim Git’iks. N̓i wilt huxw k’ax̱ maḵsa’andiit, hlaa dim saa-bax̱hl 1800.

Gwinwoḵ was one of the oldest villages of the Nisg̱a’a, located on the south side of the Nass River near Ank’idaa. The word “Gwinwoḵ” means “Sleep place”. The village took this name from the fact that travellers would often sleep at this location during the long canoe journey up the Nass River.

The principal tribes at Gwinwoḵ were the Eagles and the Killer Whales. It is believed that the village was once very large, but a war raid in the 1800s by the rival Tsimshians from the south killed many of the people. The survivors deserted the village and moved to Ank’idaa.

Their decision to move may also have been influenced by the frequent flooding at the location of Gwinwoḵ. For example, at least two Eagle totem poles downriver at Gitiks originally stood at Gwinwoḵ, but they had to be replanted after flooding dislodged them at Gwinwoḵ in the late 1800s.