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Saturday, May 10, 2008

SPIRIT OF THE ELDERS


There is a First Nations legend about three brothers who were shaman giants. They stood on the shore of ocean looking north across to the mountains. Two of these brothers were good shamans, the third was wicked. One of the good brothers threw a rock over the ocean which landed behind two boulders in a creek where people lived during the winter. This became a sacred potlach place where only shamans and spirit dancers were welcome. They gathered there to gain strength and courage from the clear water of the creek and the powerful rocks.

The second shaman brother threw a rock across the water where it landed on the seashore at a place where a mountain stream ran into the ocean. This stream was called Homulchesn. It was the summer home of the people who fished in the sea and hunted in the forest.

The wicked shaman was jealous of his good brothers and in his struggle to overpower them he was turned into stone in a place called Siwash Rock, where he remains standing to this day.


Soon after this, the elders of the Stolo people who lived at Musqueam near a mighty river, chose a princess from the Nanoose tribe as a bride for one of thier young men. According to tradition their first-born son was given the name Ki-ap-a-la-no. When the great explorer Simon Fraser first came up the river, Ki-ap-a-la-no was just a boy. Later he moved away into the valley of giant cedar trees near Homulchesn Creek where he became a great chief who was respected by all the people. The name of Homulchesn was changed to Capilano in honor of him. Ki-ap-a-la-no died in 1875 at the age of 83 years. He was succeeded by his son Lahwa who died twenty years later leaving no successors. The Squamish people chose Sahp-luh as their next leader. He married the great niece of Chief Kii-ap-a-la-no. In 1906 he became Chief Joe Capilano.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that is a cool story