Mike Iyall: Shells in Connecticut “Passed Through our Hands.”

Mike Iyall (Cowlitz) talks about continent-wide trade between tribes. 1:27.

Bio: Mike Iyall is a Council member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribal and was Vice Chairman until 2016. He is the director of the Cowlitz Tribe scholarship program and serves as tribal historian.


“I love pointing out–this is a neatness that I found just a few years ago–our, the tribe has a partner in our casino, the Mohigan tribe of Uncasville, Connecticut. And the Mohegan have spiral flute on their tribal regalia. And that’s really awesome because spiral flute — comes from two places in the world–northern Vancouver island and the Queen Charlottes. Those shells in Connecticut would have passed through our hands. That’s just mind blowing. It shows to me how interconnected native peoples were. Our trade network reached the Mohegan people and their trade network reached us. I’m certain it was hundreds of years ago but it also shows how there was a connectivity lost to us today. Even modern tribal people are unaware of how interconnected tribal people once were.”

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