Click on the crest figure(s) of the totem pole to see a close up image of that crest figure(s) and its corresponding story
Bears Den Pole Figure 1 Figure 2 and 3 Figure 4 and 5 Figure 6 and 7 Figure 8
Bears Den Figure 1
Bears Den Figure 2 and 3
Bears Den Figure 4 and 5
Bears Den Figure 6 and 7
Bears Den Figure 8
Fig6
Fig7
Fig8
Fig9
Fig10

G̱anii diyeet w’itkw ahl hlig̱ooḵt

K’a-w’iila’ihl G̱alts’ap Gitwinksihlkw gi- k’uhl. Gip’pil wil t’apmihlt. Ksgalanim wil t’ap mihlt, wil k’ii jaga lukw diit ahl Hlaxwhl’yansh, ganhl Gwinaha, aanu galax̱dilihl Galts’ap. Hla jijok sim’oogit ahl Gwin’aaha, n’i wilt japt diit pts’aan wat ahl Spa Smax. Nihl Sim’oogit Wii Seeks Gitspuudwada an gahlkwt, Giskaast nit. Hilmoomin Sim’oogit Niislisyan, Lax̱ Gibuu n’it. Ganhl k’yoohl wila’askws Wii Seeks, N’iikwax̱hast wat, Giskaast nit. Gitwinksihlkw wil sa bakhl simgigat dip tgun. Gwin’aaha wil hitkwhl pts’an tgun. T’ap x̱o’olt t’im ḵayx duhux ḵayx gan’agwihl pts’aanim spasmax tgun.

1929 wilt woot dit. N’ii wilt Giikwihl Museum of the American Indian ahl New York. N’i wilt gwilks giikwihl Canadian Museum, ii N’ii wil hitkwit sat tgun ahl Canadian Museum of Civilization ahl Ottawa.

1.Wil m̓as hli ts’aḵhl Nax̱nog̱am ts’uuts’ Gitguxwts’ag̱at.

T’aahl t’ax̱ g̱ageets’ihl w̓ii g̱alts’abim Ksi-luux, sim tsiw̓inḵhl wil niw̓adihl ḵ’alii-aksim Ksi-luux g̱anhl ḵ’alii-Lisims. Hlaa ksi-baxhl mihl wil luubayt g̱olhl gat, nidiit wilaaxdiit ndahl dim g̱o’odiit. Hapgwihl gwoom n̓idiit. Mooji nidii aluut’aahl m̓isaax. N̓iwil ayaawaatkwhl nax̱noḵhl t’aat ahl ang̱adoosda’ahl Gitguxwts’ag̱at. Wil y̓ax̱y̓aḵhl anuhl wahl sbi-nax̱noḵ tgun. Tgunhl hit: “Hlaa yukwhl dim luu-no’ohl hli ts’abin ndahl wilin g̱an mi ax̱ hlimoom diidis? N̓iwil gabinhl w̓ii ts’uuts’ iit ukws- m̓asa’anhl hli w̓ii ts’aḵt, bag̱at dimt sg̱a-beeḵ’hl wil bax̱hl mihl. Sim wayt ukws-aḵhlkw hli w̓ii ts’aḵt ahl ts’iw̓inhl aaḵhl ts’ilaaskw. N̓ig̱an wahl ts’iw̓inḵhl tgus ahl ukws-ts’ag̱at. Als laa-hitkwt Gitguxw ts’ag̱at ii k’ax̱ haw̓it. N̓iwil wilhl nax̱noḵ t’aat ahl Wil Y̓ax̱y̓aḵhl Anuhl, jag̱a-hijithl w̓ii lalt dimt an sik’ihl ts’ak’inhl wil bax̱hl mihl. N̓iwilt gwilks-luu-yalt’inhl mihl w̓ii lay̓im lo’oba mihl ahl sbi-nax̱noḵ ii n̓iwil ḵ’ay sisgihl w̓ii lo’oba mihl ahl diphl sg̱anist sa tgun. N̓iwil haksim huxw bahlkwhl nax̱noḵ Gitguxwts’ag̱at dimt sg̱a-beeḵ’hl wil bax̱hl mihl, hooyithl w̓ii n̓agum ts’aḵt, n̓iwil x̱sdaat. N̓ig̱an wilhl sim ukws-g̱antkwhl wil limḵsihl g̱ang̱an diphl mihl, ii wayt ukws-aḵhlkwt lax̱-ts’eehl ḵ’alii-aksim Lisims.

2. G̱andix’oots’inx̱hl Gibuu

3. Siilin̓skw

N̓ii-gilp’hl ayukws ahl adwaaḵ tgun.

Saa-yeehl gwiix siilin̓sgwit, dim g̱o’ot wil wanhl gwiikw lax̱-sg̱an̓ist. Simgit anhooya’ahl w̓ahlin-gigathl gwiikw gik’uuhl. Hooxdiit ahl am’ugit wil g̱ax̱ts’ay̓t ii k’aa limlamkt.

Huxw hooxdiit ahl daala g̱anhl gim wineex. Hlaa yukwhl dim m̓in-aḵhlkwt gat-gi ahl lax̱-sg̱an̓ist hlaa hagwin-aḵhlkwt wil t’aahl w̓ii ukws-t’aam biyaaḵhl. Wil G̱alksi-Y̓ax̱y̓aḵhl Biyaaḵhl wat, ii txas- n̓akwt. Hugax̱at wil g̱alksi-x̱s’anuhlkw wilt swanhl ba’askw. N̓ig̱an wahl sim wilpdiit ahl Adii X̱s’anuhlkw. Sim n̓i wil hagwin- aḵhlkwt g̱agigeenihl biyaaḵhl iit ga’ahl wil kw’ihl hlantkwhl g̱andixoots’inx g̱ooḵt, g̱osit dimt ga’ahl aguhl huwilit. Sim luu- guwihl hloḵshl ts’al̓t. Sim nax̱n̓ayit wil ksi-lax̱laḵhl amihl gibuu. Wayt g̱ageets’ihl biyaaḵhl wil g̱aḵ’etkwt ii g̱alksi-gwilathl amit ahl w̓ii biyaaḵhl. Wilaayit wil liksgathl wilhl g̱alaant, ligii n̓uw̓hl wilaay̓iskwt oo ligii saa-bax̱hl sim’oogit.

Yukwhl amukwst ahl gibuu ii luu-daaw̓ihl lim’ooy̓ ts’im-t’img̱est, wilk’iit sdoomaḵhl gibuu ahl lim’ooy̓. N̓it tgun wilaa yeehl limx:

Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Wil g̱aḵ’etkwt- g̱ahl gibuu ahoooo ahoooo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Wihl nii-gii dimt kwsadaḵsdim̓ dip yee’e hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Wil g̱aḵ’etkwt-g̱ahl gibuu Ahoooo Ahoooo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Sii kw’ihl yees gwinaat ii hasbaa-hlo’ot hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo ahoooo ahoooo

Hlaa simt wilaaxhl limx wilk’ii n̓iwil sag̱ootkwt ahl dimt guutdiithl g̱andixoots’inx̱hl gibuuhl dim ayukwsdiit loot. Wilk’iit x̱hlg̱ayx̱kwhl wil dit’aahl gibuu iit jagwit. Wilk’iit n̓aa-guut iit haagwil ts’o’odit dim hooyit ahl dim ayukwsdiit loot. Maakskwhl wilgatt ii x̱gwiikwhl wilgat hli hak’yo’ot. Hlaa hliskwt ts’o’otdiithl gibuu iit guut, dim ayukwsdiit loot. Iit siwatdiit ahl Tx̱aa Hat’ix-Gwiikwsim Gibuu.

4. Mooyithl ul

5. Sii Haw̓ahlkw Sbi-Smax
N̓ii-gilp’hl ayukws ahl adwaaḵ tgun.

N̓ihl adaawaḵs Nox̱s Laag̱oot tgun. Sim ḵ’aym̓asim hanaḵ’t Nox̱s Laag̱oot. K’aa hagwil̓ooḵs n̓it,wilaayithl hli jabihl tx̱aa n̓itkwshl agu. Da’aḵhlgwit japhl tx̱aa n̓itkwshl jabihl niiniksgum haanaḵ’. Ii k’aa abax̱baḵ’askwhl gat loot. N̓iwilt tḵ’al-w̓ahl k’yoolhl ḵ’aym̓asim gat, ii k’aa min- sipsiip’indiit. Huxwdii gwiix hahlal̓shl gat tgun. Lip aguhl jipjabit ii gwiix siilin̓skwt g̱anhl sinhoont. K’il̓hl sa, hlaa uya’ahl hoon, ii n̓ii-t’aat lihlgithl t’in ahl ts’laaskw. Ndayima’a wilaa wilt ii t’ukws-yatl’ikskwt ii lag̱am-daaw̓ihlt ts’im-x̱siksim aks n̓iwil luu-duḵw’hlinx̱t ii kw’ootkwt, nidiit w̓adiit. Lukw’il luu-g̱etkwhl g̱oots Nox̱s Laag̱oot ahl wilhl ansiip’inskwt, nidii haw̓hl wiyitkwt. K’il̓hl wilt ii luubayt saa-yeet sbayt-g̱ang̱an, biskw dimt tḵ̱’al-w̓adihl hli oots’inhl ansiip’inskwt. G̱ax̱bi t’aa ahl miinhl seeḵs eewihl ansiip’inskwt. K’il̓hl sa huxw luubayt saa-yeet sbayt g̱ang̱an. Gamkhl lax̱ha ahl silkwsax̱s, plakskw n̓it ii k’ax̱ geehlt miinhl w̓ii seeḵs ii woḵt.

Sim n̓iwil gyukwskwt gwinaadiihl w̓ii ul, n̓ii-ḵ’an hitgums gat lax̱’ut. Sim ayaa waatkw g̱asg̱oohl x̱bits’axwt, ii nidiit da’aḵhlwhl dim gut, g̱al dax̱gathl w̓ii ul as n̓it. Guudihl ul n̓it iit diyeet awa’ahl w̓ii t’ax̱. Wilk’iit dipdaltkwt lax̱-sg̱anist n̓iwil joḵdiit. Tx̱aa n̓itkwshl k’uuhlt siljoḵshl ul iit guuhl tḵ’aa lo’op iit ḵ’otshl saḵ’apdihl pdalt dimt wilaat amg̱oohl g̱an̓agwit sil t’aatkwhl ul. Sim hii kw’oot’ishl gat loot wilk’ii gitksdiit.Ligii dim̓ishl g̱anuutkwhl wildiit ii g̱osdiit dimt w̓adiit. Han̓iig̱ootdiithl gwilks-jakwst yox̱wgwithl g̱alaanhl ansiip’inskwt.

Hlaa sim w̓aagatkws Nox̱s Laag̱oot. Lip agu wilaa wihl ul loot, g̱ax̱bi limx. Hlaa ts’uu t’ipx̱ool̓thl k’uuhl t’aat awa’ahl ul. N̓i wil hihl ul loot, dim gwilks-luu-yaltkw ahl hli ts’apt. Hlaa bag̱adil hlgim ii’uxwt. Ax̱laag̱oothl wahl ts’iw̓ingit, ii Tx̱aa-snax̱hl wahl silgit. Wilk’iit sdils Ax̱laag̱oot nox̱t, iit hugax̱ wilaa jabihl gat hlaa bakwdiit. Ginaa-t’aat Tx̱aa-snax loot awa’as nigwoodim ul. N̓it an dii hugax̱hl ul. K’il̓hl wilt ii n̓ii-daaw̓ihl wils Nox̱s Laag̱oot. Mooyithl ul, ksax̱ x̱siikwsithl hoon.

G̱ooḵ dimt kwsdaḵsdiit wil jokhl ul, ii his Tx̱aa-snax̱ as nox̱t g̱anhl wakt. “Sbayt amm̓aal dim wil dii jog̱ay̓. Jidaa mi sim ga’ahl wil ksi-t’aahl t’img̱esiy̓ lax̱-amm̓aal, gilo mi ji sim guwiy̓. “Syan” Sii haw̓ahlkw tgus, dim n̓ii-daaw̓ihl ax̱-aam ahl ligit naa dimt an guwiy̓.” G̱alaan sa tgus nidiit naa an guxwhl ulhl ksi-t’aat ahl sbi-smayim lax̱-amm̓aal.

6. T’img̱esa Lik’in̓skw
(nidii amg̱ootkwhl adaawaḵ tgun)

7. G̱alksi-G̱alg̱olts’ax̱

Lip min-dalthl Lax̱gibuu, g̱ooḵ’asdiithl ang̱o’oskw. Niluxwdiit naahl dim kw’ihl wilit loot. (Nidii dip wilaaxhl ang̱o’oskwhl ang̱ooḵ’asdiit). Yukwhl w̓ildigitkwdiit n̓i wil simgit sg̱ekskwhl wakhl k’yoolhl hli luu-gadihl wilpdiit. N̓iwilt guuhl wakt iit g̱alksi-g̱olts’ax̱t saḵ’apdihl libilt wiltkwdiit. N̓iwil sgit ii hit ahl wakt: “G̱ooḵhl dim n̓uw̓in dim gwilks-da’aḵhlgwiy̓hl ang̱o’osgum̓, ii wildiit, n̓ig̱an ayukwsdiit ahl G̱alksi-g̱alg̱olts’ax̱.

Ts’in̓it x̱sdaadiit ii g̱anii n̓ihl wilaa min- x̱g̱ulxdiit ii n̓iwil sag̱ootkwdiit dim kwsdaḵsdiithl g̱alts’ap. N̓iwil lukwdiit wayt wil n̓akw saḵ’apdihl anuu Ts’am̓is g̱anh ḵalii-aksim Lisims n̓iwil lukwdiit. Lax̱t’iyooḵhl wat. Yukwhl joḵdiit loot ii hlaa dim dukwsgum wineexdiit ii n̓iwil wilhl k’yooldiithl sisatkwt. Hlaa luu-hugax̱ g̱an̓agwihl sisatkwhl gat tgun guxw siilin̓iskw n̓it wilk’ii saa-yeet dim guxw jakw’iskwt, nidii n̓akw wil yeet wilk’iit ga’ahl ul (smax) wil k’iit sit’aama’am yox̱kwhl smax tgus. Sim n̓iwil dimt guxwt ahl haxwdakwt wilk’ii sg̱a-daaw̓ihlt ahl hitgum g̱an. Ii wildiit tx̱as w̓ii sa, sim n̓iwil dimt huxw guxwhl smax tgus wilk’ii huxw sg̱a-daaw̓ihlt ahl g̱an. Nidii n̓aam haw̓it yox̱kwhl smax. Sgwatgwii hlaa wayt lax̱- sg̱an̓ist wil n̓ii-wildiit. Yukwhl wildiit ii tk’u-daaw̓ihl smax ahl biyaaḵhl iit wilaax hlaa n̓i dim wilt da’aḵhlkwhl smax tgus. Hlaa tk’u-yeet ahl biyaaḵhl gwinaadiihl gat hitgwit ii hit ahl siilin̓isgwit,” n̓iiy̓hl yox̱gwin w̓ii sa, hasaḵhl sim’oogit dimt ga’an, g̱al ts’inin.” Wilk’ii ts’int gwinaadii sim amaa luu-tk’u-liskwhl tx̱ap’ax̱ gwilgwalkwsim gat ahl haahlg̱anhl ts’im- wilp. Wi k’iit guuhl gadim smax siilin̓sgwit iit diyeet wil t’aahl sim w̓ii liks gadim wilaa jabihl sim’oogitdiit. Nidiit da’aḵhlkwhl gathl dim gut, kw’oot’inthl g̱andax̱gat. Wilk’iit guuhl w̓ii sim’oogitdiithl gat tgun ts’im-ḵ’ehlḵt iit sit’aama’am luu-tk’u-diyeet ts’im-w̓ii wilp. Tx̱alpx̱ yukwt luu-tk’u-diyeet wil manax̱noḵhl gat tgus.

Aamhl g̱an̓agwit iit nax̱n̓adiit wil ha uya’ahl amihl nax̱noḵ g̱agililihl g̱alts’ap wil k’iit hashitshl sim’oogithl ḵ’aylimḵsim ii’uxwt dimt ga’adiithl heheet. Ii wildiit, ii n̓wilt ga’adiithl gat hli ḵw’ootgwit, n̓ithl heheet, amims nax̱noḵgwit. Wilk’ii luu-hilyaltkwdiit ahl awa’ahl sim’oogit iit hlbiyuxwdiit. N̓iwilt hak’sim gwilks-bax̱- hashitshl sim’oogit n̓idiit, dim baḵdiit dimt gidii-guutdiithl gat tgus.

Wilk’ii wildiit, da’aḵhlkwdiit ksax̱ gidii-guutdiit iit n̓aa-didaaw̓ihldiit ahl wilphl sim’oogit, sim kwlii-dakhldiit ahl ma’ulkw. Sim gaks wilaa wilt nidii kw’ihl g̱abaḵskwt, wilk’iit saa-doḵdiithl dikhlee’et, iit guutdiit hlguuhlgum hanaḵ’t iit n̓ii-t’aatdiit lax̱-ba’at. Aamhl g̱an̓agwit ii haksim duwilwiltkwt iit guuhl hlguuhl gum hanaḵ’t iit tx̱aa luu-t’ip-mag̱at ahl ts’imaaḵt wilk’ii ksi-bax̱t ahl wilphl sim’oogit ii k’eex̱kwt.

Aamhl g̱an̓agwit iit g̱anii nax̱n̓adiit wil huxw uya’ahl nax̱noḵ g̱agililihl g̱alts’ap ii sit’aama’am bayt ligii jipjiiphl gat. N̓iwil hihl sim’oogithl dim lukw n̓idiit, dim luu-hilyaltkw n̓idiit ahl ḵ’alii-aksim Lisims. Ii wildiit. Ii wayt Gitwinksihlkw wil lukwdiit ii n̓iwil joḵdiit. N̓ig̱an siwatkwhl Lax̱gibuuhl jog̱at ahl Gitwinksihlkw ahl Gitlax̱t’iyooḵhl.

8. Hagwil̓ooḵ’am gadim ts’im-aks

Hagwil̓ooḵ’hl luu-wilim ts’im-aks tgus. Hugax̱at wilaa jabihl w̓ii gat txaa n̓itkws an ga’ahl wil gabint. Tx̱aa n̓itkws wil gabint, iit adigwil tx̱aa dog̱ahl wil liks gigathl luu-wilim ts’im-aks. N̓ig̱an antḵ’al- n̓it’inskwhl Nisg̱a’a ahl naahl gwiix hahlal̓sit, gwiix siwineeksit ahl hagwil̓ooḵ’am gat oo ligii
hagwil̓ooḵ’am hanaḵ’. Naahl ḵ’ay gwiix hagwil̓ooḵ’at ii nidii ax̱’aḵhlt ahl agu. Adigwil mitkw n̓idiit ahl wil liksgigathl wineex, g̱anhl sii wineex. Adigwil gigin diithlt silgatdiit ahl sii wineex.

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The Bears’ Den totem pole was erected at Gwin’aaha around the year 1900 and carved by Chief Wii Seeks (“Huge Sparkling Star”) of the Killer Whale tribe along with his helper, Chief Niislisyan of the Wolf tribe (owner and master of personal slave by the name of Y’an, “Leonard Douglas”) and N’iikwaxhast (“Fire weed all around”) of the Killer Whale tribe of Wii Seeks house. These carvers were originally from Gitwinksihlkw.

The Bears’ Den pole was purchased in 1929 by the Museum of the American Indian in New York. The National Museum of Canada purchased it from the MAI in 1977 and it now stands in the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa.

Figure 1. Supernatural bird with long beak

There was once as a small lake down river from the large village of Ksi-luux (“Alder Tree Creek”) situated at the mouth of the creek on the east side of the Nass River. When the volcano erupted, the people from Ksi-luux were dying from the ash and smoke. The supernatural nax̱noḵ from the west side of the mountain named “Where the Drum is Hanging” called out to Git -Guxwts’ag̱at saying, “Your people are perishing. Show your power to help them.” The huge bird surfaced from the lake and started growing it’s beak across the valley to try and stop the lava flow, but it failed at first. That is why there is a nose-shaped point at the mouth of the canyon above the village of Gitwinksihlkw.

In the meantime, the nax̱noḵ from the west side of the mountain threw a huge snake to the lava flow to try and extinguish it. In turn, the red-hot lava threw a huge ball of lava back to the nax̱noḵ. That is why there is a huge ball of lava sitting at the foot of the mountain called Wil Y̓ax̱y̓aḵhl Anuhl. The supernatural bird tried again about 3 kilometres down and it succeeded. That is why the tree line at the end of the lava flow is a straight line out to the main river.

2. Shadow of a wolf

3. Hunter

Both of these figures are part of this story.
A hunter was halfway up the mountain hunting for mountain groundhog, one of the most valuable resources for the Nisg̱a’a. The hides are thick, warm and good for clothing, and they were also used in exchange for goods and money.

He arrived at a place called “where the cliff angles out for a long way”. There was a sound like deep drumming on the wind. When the hunter arrived at the north end of the hanging cliff, he saw a strange shadow moving towards his path. He could not see what it was because he was in line with the sun from the south end of the hanging cliff. Then he heard a wolf howling and wailing, the sound echoing from the south end of the hanging cliff. The hunter knew that the wolf’s strange howling signified a tragedy or death back home.

While the wolf was wailing, a lament song emerged from the hunter and he started singing along with the wolf. This is how it goes:

Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Here the wolf is howling Gibuu ahoooo ahoooo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
It does not seem like our Grand father is going to leave us hoo ahoo hoo hoo hoo
Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Here the wolf is howling ahoooo ahoooo hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
My loved one just walking around now he’s gone hoo hoo ahoo hoo hoo
Ha ya ha hoo hoo hoo ahoooo ahoooo

The hunter memorized the song, and he decided to adopt the wolf’s long shadow and a wolf for their crest. The hunter sneaked up to the wolf, killed it, and took it home. The wolf was white with a groundhog color along its back. He skinned the wolf carefully and used it as regalia, naming it “Wolf with Groundhog Color Along Its Back”.

4. Personified bear

5. Bear’s den

Both of these figures are part of this story.

This is the story of Nox̱s Laag̱oot, “Mother of doubtful heart”. Nox̱s Laag̱oot was a young attractive girl. She could accomplish anything that was required of a good wife. She fell in love with an attractive, hard-working young man, and she knew that they would make a good couple. One day while her lover was fishing in the river, he fell in the swift flowing river and was drowned. They could not recover his body.

Nox̱s Laag̱oot was heartbroken, and she was in mourning for a long time. One day she took a walk in the bushes by herself hoping she might meet her lover’s ghost. It was a sunny afternoon and she felt tired, so she lied down under a shady spruce tree and fell asleep.

When she woke up, she was frightened to find a bear standing over her with his two hind legs on her. She screamed, trying to get away, but the bear overpowered her. The bear took her to the lake and up the mountain until they arrived at a bear’s den, and she lived there with the bear for a few years. Every year she took a sharp flat piece of shale and marked a scratch between her ribs to keep track how long she had lived with the bear. (When she was first lost, a search party had looked for her for a few weeks. Then people decided she must have drowned herself out of grief for her lover.)

Nox̱s Laag̱oot was very lonely, so the bear did everything he could to comfort her. He even sang a song to her. In the seventh year, the bear told her that he was going to take her home. By then she had born two boys. She named one Ax̱laag̱oot, “bold heart”, and the younger boy Tx̱aa-snax̱, “all thorn berry”. Ax̱laag̱oot stayed with his mother and became human. Tx̱aa-snax̱ stayed with the bear father and he became a bear. Once in a while, Nox̱s Laag̱oot displayed the instincts of a bear, and she preferred to eat salmon raw.

Before they left the bear’s den, Tx̱aa-snax̱ told his mother and his brother that his territory would be among the cottonwood trees near the river. “There is a bear’s den towards the top of the old cottonwood tree, and when I know the hunters are coming, I will be up there watching. Tell the hunters not to shoot me. They will bring a curse on themselves if they kill me.” Since that time, no Nisg̱a’a shoots a bear that has a den in a cottonwood tree.

6. Grizzly Bear Head
(story unknown)

7. Carry through

There was a civil war between the two houses of the Wolf clan over a territory (the name of the territory has been forgotten). One of the brothers of Lax̱gibuu house was wounded. Another brother picked him up, put him on his back, and carried him through the enemy. When he put him down, he said to his brother, “Before you die, I will get our territory back,” and they won the battle.

However, over the course of the following months, the feud continued. They decided to move away from the problems and move all the way down to a place called Lax̱t’iyooḵhl, which is halfway between the Nass River and Vancouver. While they were living in the village of Lax̱t’iyooḵhl, they were running out of supplies, so a hunter fasted for a few days to purify himself. When he was ready, he took his bow and arrow and went to hunt for game.

He didn’t go very far before he encountered a bear. He started following it, but every time he tried to shoot it, the bear went behind a tree. The hunter didn’t want to give up, and he continued following the bear until the late afternoon when they were halfway up the mountain.

The bear went around a cliff, and the hunter figured he would corner him there. When the hunter came around the cliff, he found a man standing there. He said, “I am the one you have been following all day. The chief wants to see you. Come into the house.”

When the hunter entered the house, which was in a huge cave, he saw many human figures dried around the house. The bear man took the hunter to where the chief was sitting, a huge creature. The hunter suddenly lost his strength; he was helpless.

The Bear chief picked him up and carried him on his breast, walking around the house counter-clockwise 4 times. Through this ritual, he initiated the hunter to become a nax̱noḵ, a supernatural being.

Afterwards, the village heard the nax̱noḵ sound whistling up behind the village, so the chief asked the young men to go up and check it out. They did so, and they saw that the hunter who had disappeared was making the noise. They went back home and told the chief what they had seen and heard, so the chief asked them to catch him alive.

They caught him alive, they tied him up, and they brought him down to the chief’s house. They made him sit down, and he was calm for awhile, so they untied him. They took his daughter and brought her to him and made her sit on his lap. While she was sitting on his lap, the nax̱noḵ spirit entered into the hunter again. He suddenly grabbed his daughter, shoved her down his mouth, and ran out of the chief’s house and into the forest.

Every now and then, the villagers would hear the nax̱noḵ sound again behind the village, and people would start disappearing, so the Wolf chief ordered his people to move. The tribe decided to move back to Naas River and settle at Gitwinksihlkw, and that is why they call this Wolf tribe house Gitlax̱t’iyooḵhl.

8. Supernatural man from the water.

Hagwil̓ooḵ’ is an underwater being. He looks like a huge man, and he is seen in the sea and lakes, always carrying seafood when he surfaces. The Nisg̱a’a refer to a person that is always working hard – always busy fixing, repairing, and building things or harvesting large amounts of food as Hagwil̓ooḵ’am gat, or Hagwil̓ooḵ’am hanaḵ’. Any person that is referred to as Hagwil̓ooḵ’ is always well-off. They always have plenty of fresh food to share with others.

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