With my latest book published and no job in sight, I find myself with time on my hands. And just what does Ms. Kamp do when she has time? Research past lives, of course!
Having recently spent so much time in Canada, I've been thinking about my Indian past life a lot lately. I remember very little about it at this point, having only had two memories, one of which I forgot to write down (let that serve as a lesson to ALWAYS record any information you recall). Here's the memory which did get written down:
September 20th, 1993
....Indians in British Columbia. Huddled in a make-shift house, my legs bare. The girl I wanted, with a mostly beautiful Indian face. The water’s edge, at high tide, lapping a few feet below the top of the near-vertical rock face with the trees almost overhanging into the water. My canoe, carved and painted at the bow, primarily in black, white and bluish-green. Going out with the whales, others with me in other canoes, the whale charging and easily overturning my boat, the whale’s white under-face turned green by the water and the teeth coming at me, silently—this was very ordinary, as if it couldn’t possibly be happening, and yet also I felt urgency, some sort of panic at the back of my thoughts. These animals were revered by me—I loved them as sacred, even though I was going to kill one, I meant it no harm. I realized, watching this, feeling this, over and over in a vague replay, that we, the Indians, were hunting the whales and they were defending themselves. I don’t know if I died—it seemed like I did. I couldn’t get the image of that green and black face coming at me out of my mind.
So, with all this free time, I did some searching for which First Nations Groups hunted whales, specifically killer whales. It seems the Nootka, or Nuu-chah-nulth, were the only real whale hunters...so that narrows down my location to the western side of Vancouver Island (excluding the Makah on the Olympic Peninsula because the landscape doesn't look right). I've read that only the chief was allowed to strike the killing harpoon blow, that only the chief's family was allowed to hunt whales, so this suggests that, if my memory is correct and we were actually hunting, then I would have been a member of the chief's family. In the memory I failed to write down, my father in this life was a little, old, gray-haired Indian man in that lifetime, very chief-like, although this could just be a confusion with one of the characters in Daniel Day-Lewis' Last of the Mohicans. Also, from what I know about killer whale behavior, they seldom attack or molest boats or kayaks unless harassed, so odds would be good we were actually hunting in this memory.
While I was in Canada, I had a chance to see an iron "slave killer" knife in a local museum there. I had written about just such a knife in my first book, The Last Killiney, and it was surprising to find out how accurate my description was, and how much resonance I experienced upon seeing this artifact. Since iron was more plentiful amongst the First Nations Groups after contact with the fur traders -- and the Nootka were among the first to make contact -- it seems likely my memories date from after Mary Carter's lifetime, e.g. after 1830.
I will need to conduct some past-life self-regressions to learn more, but right now this is where I stand in my research. All very interesting. Now I'm thinking about getting in my truck and driving up there, maybe visiting some of the places one can actually drive to, Tahsis and Gold River. *adds to To-Do List*