Tulalip Tribes, Washington
More than 500 people gathered in a longhouse the June 16 weekend to dance, pray and wait for Big Chief King Salmon. Midway through the annual ceremony, a boy ran in to proclaim the arrival of "Haik Ciaub Yo Bauch,'' the Big Chief himself. The crowd followed the child to the beach, where fishermen in a canoe offered the first king salmon of the season. "The king comes to us from the Salmon People. He is a scout. He will go back to tell how he was received by the Tulalip,'' Emcee Glen Gobin said. The fish got royal treatment. Two men carried it ashore on a bed of ferns. He was deboned and his flesh distributed - one small bite to each person. His remains were returned to the water so he could go back to the Salmon People and tell them how well he was received. "Hopefully, he'll send the rest of his people back here,'' Gobin said. Lately, there haven't been enough Salmon People to go around, tribal leaders say. "Thirty to 40 percent of our fishing boats are harvesting shellfish," Tribal chairman Herman Williams Jr. said. "The rest are sitting in dry dock.''
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