Quilliute Myth

Curtis, Edward S., 1913, The North American Indian, Volume 9., Johnson Reprint Corporation, NYC. pp. 149-150

The Quiliute possess a fragmentary deluge myth, the motive of which is that of the Kwakiutl myth. Taken with the fact that no such story is found in the lore of the Salish tribes, this seems to indicate that it came to the Quiliute from the Makah. According to the tale the people began to notice that when the sun neared the western horizon it passed behind something that extended as far as the eye could reach, like an opaque wall, and the sun was hidden. What this was they did not know. It proved to be a great wall of water coming in from the ocean, and it swept toward the land. The people got into canoes with their possessions, and bound the craft together as if they were making ready to tow them in a long line. The lead line they fastened to the top of a tall tree, just as the earth was being covered with the water. The flood constantly rose, but there was no current. A portion of the line of canoes broke loose from the others, and when the waters began to subside it settled back to the ground at ... (Chimakum). The others, still moored to the tree, came to the ground at the place from which they had started, that is, at the mouth of the Quillayute river. Thus it was that the people were separated into two tribes with one language.


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