Sea Monster (Namxxelagiyu)

As told by Kevin Cranmer

Kevin Cranmer's Sea Monster Mask On the Northern tip of Vancouver Island rests a small village where the Namgis people live. This beautiful place called Nimpkish River is the center of all Kwakwaka'wakw people. It is where the tribes meet today so events and settlements can be arranged.

Amongst all tribes of the Kwakwaka'wakw people, there are many legends of a Great Sea Monster and every tribe has its own legend. The Namgis people believe that this supernatural being is their ancestor. To the Nimpkish people, this great being is named Namxialguyau.

It was said that after the Great Flood of all time, the Sea Monster was fascinated with land again and wanted to live there. He was tired of the sea and water so he decided to move himself to land. Being a supernatural being, he transformed himself into a man.

Removing all fins, his tail and other parts, the Sea Monster had a great quartz chrystal that was placed right in the centre of his forehead. This gave him the power to fly.

As he changed to man, so did his name; his human name became Namukustolis. He began to make plans for his new home, but came across many obstacles when he started to build it. The beams that were the base of his new home were too heavy to lift all by himself. He was going to need some help. As he looked around him for help, he saw a great Thunderbird perched on a branch nearby. He called the Thunderbird for help. It grabbed each beam in its talons and set them in place. After the beams were in place the man put the walls up and the house was complete. The Thunderbird was fascinated with their accomplishment and wanted to live there as well. He transformed himself into a man, as Namukustolis had, then they lived in the house together.

The Thunderbird is the ancestor of a family which came from the same house. Many families lived there together: brothers, sisters, partents and grandchildren.

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