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

p. 22

Eena, the Beaver


The Beaver, the supernatural giant of extraordinary intelligence was captured and adopted by Kilisnu of the Kicksetti People. The Beaver was greatly respected for he could live longer under water than any other animal. He dwelt in a house in Salmon Lake which was so cunningly constructed that no one was ever able to enter. It was Beaver who showed the Indians how to make Salmon Weir. He also cut two spears with beautiful handles with his sharp teeth. When he was not using these to spear salmon he hid them in a hollow log. One day the spears were found by three members of the tribe, who used them with such results that they were able to give a bountiful supply of salmon to all inhabitants of their village.

They showed the spears to the village Chief, Kilisnu, claiming to have made them and to have given them great magic. But Beaver said: "I made them." This caused great confusion to the other claimants who became very jealous of Beaver as well as of each other. Then they mocked the Beaver and ridiculed him and made him the butt of their jokes, all the time keeping out of the way of his sharp teeth. At last Beaver got so angry that he took up one of the magic spears and threw it at the Chief, killing him and many others. Then he went to his floating house in the middle of Salmon Lake and in four days dug a tunnel under the Indian village, undermining the houses so that they sank into a pool. Those of the tribesmen who survived were forever after allowed to use the Beaver on their crest and so his crest has been used down the ages by many tribes through inter-marriage.

Beaver is nearly always shown gnawing his magic spear with his sharp teeth. Because of his industry he is almost always associated with Raven (Thunder Bird) on Totem Poles. He is also carved on the popular Kicksetti Totem Pole at Juneau.

There are other legends of the Beaver that tell of how the Indians acquired their crests by more honorable means than this story indicates.

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