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Hydah Indian Legends and Traditions

The mind of the Indian is full of weird strange fancies and imaginations. Groping in darkness, in almost total ignorance of the discoveries of science, with nothing to guide or correct him, it is no wonder that in his blind struggles to solve the great problems which are more or less a mystery to us all--the origin of man and original creations--that he has wrought out the incongruous mixture of ignorance, superstition and vulgar imagination which mainly compose their legends and traditions. Some of them are doubtless based upon actual occurrences in the remote ages, which they have interwoven with their own fancies; others upon the exploits and experiences of their ancestors; though the greater number are pure fictions, fairy tales and hobgoblin stories, handed down from generation to generation. It would require a large volume to contain them all, and years to translate them with accuracy. I can therefore only give a few examples from those most frequently narrated, which I had from the lips of Edensaw, the oldest and ranking Chief of the Hydah nation, and Goo'd-nai-u-uns, wife of Goo-gul, well known as a gifted relator of their legends and traditions. Ne-kil-stlas is their great creative geni, who, by transforming himself into men, women, children, beasts, birds and fishes, or whatever thing is best suited to accomplish his designs, performs the most miraculous deeds. Ne-kil-stlas is known also as Kill-sing-ne-kee-uns, Goya-ta-get-ya, Goy-kilt, Guoy-ne, kill-gee-sklass, Hoya, and by other names, according to the shape which he assumes.

The Creation of Man

Origin of Light, The Sun, Moon and Stars

Official Report of the Exploration of the Queen Charlotte Islands for the Government Of British Columbia, 1884

 

Hydah Indians


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