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The Thunder Bird Tootooch Legends, by W.L. Webber, [1936], at

p. 31

Le-Loo, The Wolf


The Wolf was the sacred animal spirit of the Shaman (Medicine Man) and his Tillicums (Family). The Wolf people are one of the oldest clans of the primitive Northwest Indians.

The legend of the Nootka Indians, of Vancouver Island, Is as follows: They thought that if they could secure the young Wolf and take from him some inner part to rub on the outer side of their canoes, it would bring them great luck when whaling. Great whale hunters of this tribe were supposed to have secured the charm.

The ancestors of the tribes who lived along the Skeena, known to them as Coola Chuck Snase (The River of the Mist), acquired the Wolf crest by befriending the animal and for this service it became their guardian spirit.

Long ago, when winter snows were deep, a wolf came to a Chief's house one morning. He was in great pain and could not eat. The old Chief said to his nephews: "See whether there is anything hurting the Wolf." They did this and, finding a piece of bone caught in his throat, they removed it. Then more snow came and hunger stalked among the people. The Wolf returned in the form of a man and beckoned them to follow him. He led the Indians to a place where he had killed many caribou for their use.

The Wolf represents the genius of the land. He is carved on many totem poles. The Nootkans weave the symbol in their grass baskets and it is used on many other articles of their mamook (handicraft).

Members of the Wolf Clan are always welcome at the ceremonial Winter dances as they are keen for any game. One of their theme songs is: "He who steps upon the high places of the Earth."

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