Two Houses Half-Buried in Sand: Reviving the Legacies of 1930s-era Hul'qumi'num story-tellers

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The Two Houses Half-Buried in Sand Digital Map aims to revive the legacy of Beryl Cryer's Hul'qumi'num contributors who, in the 1930s depression-era, documented the stories and culture of Hul'qumi'num peoples living on the east coast of Vancouver island. The map provides a visual, interactive interface that locates these stories in place and mobilizes Hul'qumi'num perspectives of ancestral landscapes and waters on and around Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the lower Fraser River, and beyond.


Cryer originally published these stories in the pages of Victoria's Daily Colonist during the Great Depression, and in 2007, Chris Arnett, an historian living on Salt Spring Island, compiled and edited the stories in his book Two Houses Half-Buried in Sand: Oral Traditions of the Hul'q'umi'num' Coast Salish of Kuper Island and Vancouver Island. Arnett’s edited version of Two Houses was closely reviewed and analysed to provide a spatial lens through which to explore the stories told in the book.

Complete Stories

We have provided a brief summary of each of these stories in the "Summary of Quotations/Quote" field and the page numbers for the story in the "References" field. For complete versions of the stories appearing in this digital map, refer to the hardcopy version of "Two Houses," likely available at your local library, or follow the Ebook links below (although you may need a login via your library to access it). 

How to Use this Map

Use the legend to navigate layers and sites.


Or zoom in (double-click anywhere on the map) to see placemarks more closely; click on a placemark for more information.


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This map is based almost entirely on the publication "Two Houses Half-Buried in Sand: Oral Traditions of the Hul'q'umi'num Coast Salish of Kuper Island and Vancouver Island."

We thank editor and compiler Chris Arnett for his support of the creation and public distribution of this map. We gratefully acknowledge Beryl Cryer for documenting and publishing the stories of her contributors in Victoria's Daily Colonist.

It is with deep respect and gratitude that we recognize the following individuals for sharing their lives and stories in the past, so that we have the privilege of re-engaging them for a multitude of purposes in the present-day: Siamtunaat (Mary Rice); Tommy Pielle; Ts’umsitun and Latits’iiya; Joe and Jennie Wyse; Quon-As; Stockl-Whut; Qwulsteynum; Lichnawmukw’; Wilkes James; Edward Hulbertsun; Kli-Um; John Peter; Johnny and Rosalie Seletze; and Tsonaatun.

The production of this map was supported through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grant. Dr. Brian Thom directed the project with assistance from student researchers Amy Becker, Britney Oswell, and Ursula Abramczyk at the University of Victoria.

Images published in this map are identical to those selected and published by Chris Arnett (Cryer 2007). These images were retrieved from the Ethnology Branch of the Royal British Columbia Museum and reproduced for this research project with permission.