1927: How to say ‘sea serpent’ in CW
How one Nuučaan’uɬ man described a sea serpent in Chinuk Wawa…
Raven/Sisiutl transforation mask by Oscar Matilpi, Kwakwaka’wakw Nation, 1996 (image credit: Wikipedia)
Was it a sisiutl?
Here’s what he reported:
Jul 30, 7 – while trolling for salmon 2 miles off Long Beach, Tomash, a Ucluelet Indian, saw what he believes to be a ‘delate hyas oluk‘ [dlét háyás(h) úlq’, ‘really big snake’] which signifies sea serpent. He estimates it to be 70′ long. Its huge head was about 4′ above the water…;
[Colonist, 1927-07-26, p. 16]
Incidentally, the West Coast of Vancouver Island was indeed one of the regions of BC where Chinuk Wawa held on the longest into the 20th century. It remains a place only loosely connected with the rest of the world, in many ways.