Tilikums of Elttaes & the Seattle Potlatch boosters

The Tilikums of Elttaes were “a bunch of boosters“.  Do you know more about them?  Add it in a comment.

Tilikums of ElttaesTheir early 20th-century organization was headed by a Hyas Tyee or Tyee Kopa Konaway.

Tilikums of Elttaes totem polesIt was organized into 3 or 5 tribes, the Ikht, Moxt, Klone (etc.)–I’m finding conflicting reports from different times. 

Tilikums of Elttaes badgeEach tribe was led by its Tyee Ikht, Tyee Moxt, Tyee Klone (etc.).

Tilikums of Elttaes Seattle Potlatch banner

The Potlatch Bug was their theme song, I reckon, as well as their mascot.

Seattle Potlatch Bug

They supposedly procured the chant called “The Potlatch Hoot” from the granddaughter of the late Haida chief Skowl, and arranged it into “The March of the Tilikums“.

Seattle Potlatch invitation

They concocted a mythology that combined the fierce strength of the more northerly tribes with the optimistic progressivism of the Seattle business community.

Seattle Golden Potlatch handbills

They had a lot of fun with it.


They traveled the West Coast to promote their summer festival.  In San Francisco the newspapermen said “Klahowya Six! to the Potlatch Bug / City extends hyas skookum Chinook welcome to Seattle carnival tyees“.

Klahowya Six to the Potlatch Bug

City extends hyas skookum

In closing, here’s an unrelated manifestation of the dominant culture playing with the notion of “potlatch” for fun:

great-potlatch-boxIt’s a modern game “The Great Potlatch”, from Small Box Games.