Who is Chief Maquinna?
Chief Maquinna Maquinna (also transliterated Muquinna, Macuina, Maquilla) was the chief of the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Nootka Sound, during the heyday of the maritime fur trade in the 1780s and 1790s on the Pacific Northwest Coast. His people are today known as the Mowachaht and reside today with their kin, the Muchalaht, at Gold River, British Columbia, Canada. Maquinna was a powerful chief whose village, Yuquot, became the first important anchorage in the European jockeying for power and commerce as the era of the maritime fur trade began. Yuquot became known as Friendly Cove, and after the British explorer Captain James Cook visited in 1776, Imperial Spain quickly asserted its authority, sending north scientific and mapping ships, and also orders to establish a fort there. In 1788, John Meares explored the Nootka Sound and the neighboring coasts and bought some land from Maquinna, where he built a trading post. Ensuing events led to the seizure of a British subject and his Austrian-registered vessel by the Spanish, which provoked an international episode known as the Nootka Crisis. Fort San Miguel was built in 1789 by Esteban José Martínez, who required Maquinna and his people to move. The fort was abandoned the same year, after the Nootka Controversy, and rebuilt one year later, in 1790, by Pere d'Alberní i Teixidor. In 1795 it was finally abandoned after the Nootka Convention came in force, and Maquinna and his people could return to their coastal village. Maquinna played a key role in relations between the Spanish envoy, Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, and his British counterpart, Captain George Vancouver, who negotiated the settlement of the Nootka affair and enjoyed Maquinna's hospitality at length. It is worth noting that the title by which he is described, "Hyas Tyee", which was to find its way into the vocabulary of the Chinook Jargon, is the same as that used for king (although it simply means important chief). One story tells how he and his brother, Callicum, performed a masquerade for Vancouver and Quadra in which the noble brothers acted out a pantomime of European dress and manners, improvising mock-Spanish and mock-English dialogue, all set in the customary style of the great potlatch theatre-dance culture of the Northwest Coast. Relations were not always easy. Callicum expressed his anger at a Spanish frigate that was threatening to claim Yuquot by paddling out to the ship, and was shot and killed by a seaman aboard. Callicum's death and many other details of life in Maquinna's court are told in the writings of John R. Jewitt, one of two sole survivors of a British ship whose crew was massacred by Maquinna and his men. A Narrative of the Adventures and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt, only survivor of the crew of the ship Boston, during a captivity of nearly three years among the savages of Nootka Sound: with an account of the manners, mode of living, and religious opinions of the natives is one of the first published glimpses into the social and cultural life of the Pacific Northwest peoples. Jewitt refers to Maquinna throughout as "king". External links * Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online * On-line original edition of The Adventures and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt] * Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation Webpage * First Contact Mowachaht Page References * First Approaches to the North West Coast, Derek Pethick, University of Washington Press, July 1977 * The Nootka Connection: The Northwest Coast,, Derek Pethick, University of Washington Press 1980 * British Columbia chronicle,: Adventures by sea and land, G.P.V. Akrigg Edited & Posted by: Daniel David Miller The 5th