The Thunder Bird Tootooch Legends, by W.L. Webber, , at sacred-texts.com
CHIEF SISA-KAULA'S TOTEM POLE
Modelled after the Original Erected in Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada.
This Totem Pole tells in Indian figures the story of Chief Sisa-Kaulas’ great ancestor See-wid. See-wid was a delicate young man whose father was disappointed in him, thinking he was incapable of carrying on the family honor. One day another Indian in the same tribe, with more initiative than See-wid, saved the tribe from a great disaster at the hands of their enemies, which made the young man's father more than ever displeased with his delicate son. Shortly after this See-wid was walking in the forest. He came to a pool of clear water where he meditated over his inability to please his father and lead the fortunes of his people. Suddenly there appeared in the water a giant frog, who asked him: "Do you wish to come with me?" See-wid answered that he would, and climbing on to the frog's back the frog carried him down to the bottom of the pool, to the Spirit world. There he forgot his troubles, for the spirit of the deep gave him permission to use for his crests the sea- bear, sea-otter and the whale, a permission greatly coveted by the Indians. See-wid was a long time in returning to the land of the earth, and passed through many hardships before he was able to resume his life among his own people, but when he returned he was a strong man, and became one of the most powerful of the Indian chiefs.
(i) The top figure Kolus, sister of the Thunder Bird, who is always represented with folded wings. On Kolus’ breast is seen painted the crest of the Raven Clan, signifying that this bird was seen by See-wid in his journey through the spirit world.
(ii) A noted chief, one of the ancestors of Sisa-aulaus, embracing his baby son.
(iii) The chief in figure (ii) is resting his feet on the upturned tail of a whale, Ka-Kow-In, upon whose back all creation rests. The face carved on the figure of the whale is symbolical of the time when the moon was stolen from the Creator.
(iv) The sea-otter, To-sil-la-gut, spirit of the deep, shown eating a sea-egg.
(v) The sea-bear who, according to Indian belief, was both able to live in the sea and enter the bowels of the earth.
(vi) A carved head with a wide open mouth. This is to signify the fate of a rival of the chief, or any who dared to speak evil against the chief. The head is that of the executed rival, exhibited as proof of the chief's power and triumph.
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