Click on the crest figure(s) of the totem pole to see a close up image of that crest figure(s) and its corresponding story
Bears Den Pole Figure 4 and 5 Figure 6 Figure 3 Figure 2 Figure 1
Rainbow Figure 1
Rainbow Figure 2
Rainbow Figure 3
Rainbow Figure 4 and 5
Rainbow Figure 6
Fig6
Fig7
Fig8
Fig9
Fig10

G̱anii diyeet w’itkw ahl hlig̱ooḵt

K’a-w’iila’ihl G̱alts’ap Gitwinksihlkw gi- k’uhl. Gip’pil wil t’apmihlt. Ksgalanim wil t’ap mihlt, wil k’ii jaga lukw diit ahl Hlaxwhl’yansh, ganhl Gwinaha, aanu galax̱dilihl Galts’ap. Hla jijok sim’oogit ahl Gwin’aaha, n’i wilt japt diit pts’aan wat ahl Spa Smax. Nihl Sim’oogit Wii Seeks Gitspuudwada an gahlkwt, Giskaast nit. Hilmoomin Sim’oogit Niislisyan, Lax̱ Gibuu n’it. Ganhl k’yoohl wila’askws Wii Seeks, N’iikwax̱hast wat, Giskaast nit. Gitwinksihlkw wil sa bakhl simgigat dip tgun. Gwin’aaha wil hitkwhl pts’an tgun. T’ap x̱o’olt t’im ḵayx duhux ḵayx gan’agwihl pts’aanim spasmax tgun.

1929 wilt woot dit. N’ii wilt Giikwihl Museum of the American Indian ahl New York. N’i wilt gwilks giikwihl Canadian Museum, ii N’ii wil hitkwit sat tgun ahl Canadian Museum of Civilization ahl Ottawa.

Hli adaawag̱ahl Adoḵs:

1. Dax̱ yukwdihl gat max̱makay

Kap w̓ahlin ayuukhl Nisg̱a’a tgun:
Hla y̓as hlgu ḵ’aym̓asim hanaḵ wil k’iit w̓o’odiit nits’iits’ dim dit’aayit huxwdaak’int wat as sg̱aw̓oo ahl ts’im wilba y̓as, awa’ahl g̱alts’ap. Luk’ul si haw̱ahlkw diit wil hla y̓as, hlgu han̓aḵ. Nidiit anook’ diit dim lobayt kuhl wilt. Ligi lu dabihl g̱anuutkw lu dik’yools nits’iits’ ts’im wilba y̓as. Nidiit anooḵ diit dim hagwin dilpkwhl gat loot. G̱as g̱oohl sig̱a g̱itdiit wil y’as hanaḵ.

Ḵ̱’ay yukwhl lu wil dip Sg̱aw̱oo g̱ans nits’iits ts’im wilba y̓as ii bakwhl gitwiltkwgwit, sim luno’onhl hli gadihl g̱alts’aps Sgaw̓oo. Hla g̱aks ligi ksihlo’os dip Sg̱w̓oo g̱an nits’iits, gwinadihl g̱oodahl gat. Ii t’ap mihl g̱alts’ap. Sims lug̱atg̱it g̱a goots dip Sg̱aw̓oo g̱ans nits’iit wil luno’ohl ansipsiip’inskw diit.

N̓iwilt guus nits’iits Sg̱aw̓oo n̓it iit gisa diyeet ahl ḵ’ali aks, n̓iwilt w̓adiit w̓iiloox̱ g̱a gigeenihl g̱alts’abim Gitlax̱t’aamiks, ḵ’ay alu taahl w̓ii loox̱ tgus sat tgun. N̓i wil n̓ii wans dip Sg̱aw̓oo g̱as nits’iits, ii sit’aama’am limxs nits’iits, gidix̱at naa dim an naks hlguhlkwt Sg̱aw̓oo. Ḵ̱’oom̓ax̱ gwit dimt nax̱n̓ahl nax̱noḵ amit ahl gwin̓e’eskwt dim ii w̓itkwt. Yukhl dim diltkwt diit wilt luno’ot’inhl gitwiltgwit hli ts’apt.

Tgun wila yeehl limxs nits’iits Sg̱aw̓oo.

Naa dim an nakskw hlguuhlgwiy̓ Sg̱aw̓oo
Naa dim an nakskw hlguuhlgwiy̓ Sg̱aw̓oo
Ahl wilt luno’otinhl gitwiltkw hlts’abiy̓ gii
Nag̱an wilhl lubayt g̱eehlgwiy̓ biskw n̓iy̓ dimt hlinoomiy̓ nax̱noḵ
Naa dim an nakskw hlguuhlgwiy̓ Sg̱aw̓oo

N̓i wilt nax̱n̓ahl wil liks gigathl yat’iskw limxs nits’iits Sg̱aw̓oo, wil k’ii y̓ay k’it k’inaa dim an n̓am nakskwt. Lik’ii’inskw ksg̱oog̱am w̓itkwgwit, n̓iwilt gidax̱s nits’iits nndahl dim wilt jida bakwhl gitwiltkw gwit. Ni wilt gwinga’adihl likii’inskw g̱a dax̱gat, hihlahlak’anhl g̱ang̱an ii loobayt ayawaatkwt. Oo n̓idahl dim an lu no’ot’inhl gitwiltgwit an winsgun, nii ado’o yeen.

N̓i wil bakwhl hlag̱a ts’uuhl yat’iskw ii wan̓ n̓ihl wildiit sikihl gwinga’atdiit g̱an da’aḵhla’anskwdiit as nits’iits Sg̱aw̓oo. Ts’imhlik’, ii hoon galhl n̓eekhl ii m̓isg̱a nidit anooḵs nits’iits Sg̱aw̓oo n̓idiit, iit huut’in diit, ado’o hlo’osim.

N̓i wilt nax̱nadiit w̓ii x̱duutkwhl lax̱ha, hugax̱at wil x̱duutkwhl w̓ii tya’aytkw, gwinaadihl gat hitgwit, n̓iwil hit as nits’iits Sg̱aw̓oo. Dim naksgwiy̓ huxw -dakinin. W̓itkw n̓iy̓ lax̱ha. G̱ookhl dim gidax̱s nits’iits Sg̱aw.oo guhl da’akhlw gwit, iit japhl hlgu y̓aak iit guuhl lax̱ tseetiks ii belx̱sim mag̱at. N̓iwil hiit loot, wy hugax̱, hlasim gadiy̓ n̓iin.

Ni wil sigwiis x̱gaakt iit doḵs dip Sg̱aw̓oo g̱ans nits’iits iit luwant diit ts’im ḵ’ayxt, dim di gibaygwit n̓idiit ahl ts’im lax̱ha. Jida hla n̓im yukw diit ii n̓i wil hihl w̓ii x̱gaak loodiit. Liilixw n̓isim̓ gilooji ksigix ga’akwsim̓.

G̱al abaḵ’askw nits’its Sg̱aw̓oo dim ksiga’askwt yukwhl n̓im yukwt diit lax̱ha, gilp’ilhl wilt ii gip’il gwilks tugwantkw diit lax̱ts’eets’iks. Iit guuhl hlamst iit ksidamḵanhl hli aniisihl w̓ii g̱an iit tsilim mag̱as nits’iits loot, iit huxw lu yalt’inhl aniist. (Dahla hlantkwhl g̱an ii x̱k’iik’wintkw iit mahl diit nits’iits Sg̱w̓oo hli heet ayawaatkw gwit.)

N̓iwilt guus gadim lax̓ha Sg̱aw̓oo iit n̓im didaw̓ihlt, n̓iwil n̓akwhl joḵdiit awa’ahl nigwoohl gadim ts’im lax̱ha. Hla tx̱albdolhl hlgim iiuxw diit ii bag̱adilhl hlgim haanaḵhl diit, huxwdaak’intkw Sim’oogidim ts’im lax̱ha. Lu aamhl g̱oot loodit iit gin̓amhl g̱andax̱gahl nax̱noḵ loodiit. Iit gwinga’adihl dimt wilat hoox diit. Gin̓amit dax̱gat dim w̓ildigitkw diit iit gin̓amhl daxgat ahl hanaḵ dimt gwil dilimootkw gwit sax̱giksgwit yukw dal diit. Hla k’ii’ihl sa ii hihl sim’oogidim lax̱ha ahl huxwdaak’intkw. T’aa hlakw dim gwilks t’ap hashiigiy̓ n̓isim̓ ahl g̱alts’ap wil joḵhl g̱a niyee’esim̓, Dim ḵ’al gin̓amt miy̓ Dim g̱a wilpsim̓. Dim dilkw n̓isim̓ as dip n̓idit jog̱at galax̱ dilihl g̱alts’ap an luno’otinhl g̱a niyee’et sim̓

Hla huxw sa ii sim ts’ipkwhl yeen ahl ḵ’ali aks, nidiit da’akhlkw gat dimt ga’at diit andoosda’a ahl g̱alts’ap hli wil joks dip Sg̱aw̓oo. Hla g̱ake n̓im daw̓ihl yeen n̓i wilt ga’adiit tx̱alpx̱at aama limḵsim simwilp. Wil likagigat wiloohl hli t’amdit. Sg̱oog̱am wilp ii huyaxhl wila jabihl hlooḵsim m̓isaax. Ii sto’okst iit hug̱ax̱hl bil̓ist, ii hli sto’okst iit hug̱ahl hlaḵsim ax̱kw, ii ksg̱alaanit iit hugax̱hl wil liks gigat hli taamdihl max̱maḵay.

Lax̱bii ts’iixw gat g̱alax̱dildiit, ii ḵ’ap hihl g̱ag̱oot diit ahl dim jig̱a wax diit dimt ts’ilayxw diit sii bagwit. Hlat ḵ’al w̓at diit n̓idit wil kii n̓am lahaalhl jig̱a bagwit. Nii diit wilaax diit wil huxwdaakitkwhl sim’oogidim lax̱ha ahl sii bagwit. N̓i wil agwii yeehl g̱a niyiitkw diit hli luno’otin diit gik’uuhl.

N̓iwilt anookhl sii bagwit dim silg̱a lahaal diit, Yukwhl wil diit ii adigwil x̱daahl sii bagwit, hlamt g̱ootin diit amwilhl g̱alts’ap. N̓iwil sipsiipkwhl g̱a goot ḵ’ay limḵs sim iiuxwt iit n̓am sildal diit sii bagwit. Han̓ii goot diit dim anw̓e’eskw diit ahl sii bagwit ahl wil hlibuu diit.

Hla huxw sa ii luhilyaltkw diit awa’ahl sii bagwit k’ee’ex̱ diit sii bagwit ahl lahaal, iit anookhl sii bagwit. Aamhl g̱an̓agwi ii gwinim jahl an k’ee’ex̱ diit, ii sijooḵ diit k’uhl sg̱oog̱at loodiit. N̓i wil hihl gat ahl kyoohl sii bagwit. Aguhl da’akhl gwin g̱ado’ohl lahaal. N̓i wil hihl huxwdaak’ins sim’oogidim lax̱ha. Lap aguhl, dim t’isiy̓ ahl anuuniy̓, gat oo ligi jak’wiskw dim ii n̓uut. N̓i wil hihl k’uhl sg̱oog̱at loodit, nimdii da’akhlkw dima jakw diy̓ ahl anuunin, goom̓ t’isiy̓ ga’amhl dim wilt.

N̓iwil ts’isimhl huxwdaak’in iit ḵ’aykis t’igwantkwhl gat lax̱ t’aag̱an ii n̓uut, wil k’ii sayt g̱’oodahl hli gadihl g̱alts’ap. Ii huxw ḵ’isa’ahl kyoohl gat, ii n̓ihl wilt t’isihl huxwdaakint ii huxw di n̓uut. Wil k’iit sayt doox̱ diit hli smax dawit ii luhil yaltkw diit ahl g̱alts’ap wil bakw diit. N̓i wil gwildim goot diit dim sildal diit sii bagwit. Hli buu n̓idiit dim hooyim̓ g̱a haxwdag̱im̓ g̱anhl g̱a k’iinin̓, ii nidiit da’akhl diit dimt ksax̱ k’ilt’ist’is diit n̓uum̓ Wil k’ii gwildim g̱oodahl g̱alts’ap dim w̓ildigitkw n̓i diit. Dim ḵ’iskw diit sii bagwit. Ii sgihl dax̱gat ahl kyoohl huxwdaakint, sim wilaayit hlhooyihl haxdakw g̱anhl hawilt. Nidi ḵ’ee’en wila wilt iit guxguxhl gat ahl wil n̓akw, hilt gat jakwdiit. N̓I wil hak’sim luhilyaltkwhl diit ahl galts’ap, dim aama huxw sit’aama’a n̓i diit. N̓iwil hihl kyoolhl huxwdaak’int. aguu g̱an dim huxw aama sit’aama’asim̓. Witax̱ luhil layim g̱ag̱oodim gat. Luno’otin sim̓ g̱a niyee’et gum hlibuu n̓idit ii ts’iiks g̱a wilkw sim̓. Ḵ̱’al yeehl hlibuum̓ ii y̓ay hoot sim̓.

N̓i wilt g̱aks wilaaxhl hli gadihl g̱alts’ap naa n̓idiit siibagwit, ii akhl wil diit. Hla bakw diit ahl g̱alts’ap g̱a doosda’ahl ḵ’ali aks, iit guuhl silgidit an dax̱yugwihl ḵ’alaxw iit sawit ahl g̱altsap, n̓i wil tx̱aa batshlkw w̓ii g̱alts’ap ii gildip daw̓ihlt ii wowaḵ hli gadihl g̱alts’ap. N̓i wilt da̓akhlkw wil agwii yees dip Sg̱aw.oo diltkw diit ahl gat an luno’ot’inhl g̱a niyee’etkw diit.

2. N̓eekhl

Hlguḵ’alams wahl hlgu hanaḵ ii k’agwiix alayst. Nidi gu ji nam jabit. N̓ig̱ant sa mag̱as dip noox̱t g̱ans nigwoot, iit gina taat diit lax̱ liks taa. Hla huxwdax hlgu hanaḵ ii taat lax̱ ts’eehl aks wiwiitkw.

Niwil w̓itkwhl w̓ii N̓eekhl iit gidax̱ hlu han̓aḵ nndahl wilt. N̓iwil hihl N̓eekhl loot n̓it’aan lax̱ hak’ooy̓ iima dax̱yugwihl neeḵ’ dim jeg̱a digyooy̓ n̓iin doosda’a. Hla jeg̱a akhlkw diit iit tuks mag̱at, n̓i g̱an wahl G̱alts’ap ahl Hlguḵ’alaams (Port Simpson).

3. K’il say̓hl gat

(nidi wilaakst)

4. Amhalaydim hlooḵsim aax̱kw
5. Hugax̱at Sim’oogit

Nihl gip’il adoḵs dip tgun ninda doox̱ g̱anhl amhalayt sim’oogit ahl hli miinhl pts’aan tgun.

6. Lik’ii’ingum lax̱ mo’on

Lu taahl w̓ii lik’ii’inskw ts’im w̓ii tax̱. Nidi limootkwhl gat n̓i wilit lax̱ tax̱ tgus, gwinim jakw dihl w̓ii lik’ii’nskw n̓idiit. N̓wil sig̱ootkw diit dimt w̓adiit dim wilat jakw diit w’ii lik’ii’inskw tgus.

N̓iwilt japt diit w̓ii sax̱sg̱an, ii n̓ano’ohl hli silkwt. Wil k’iit uuks diwax diit silkwẖ lax̱taax̱ n̓i wilt gibadiit dim gabinhl w̓ii lik’ii’inskw dimt ḵ’eskw gwit n̓idiit lax̱ sax̱sg̱an.

Sims ts’alugukskw n̓idiit hla gabinhl w̓ii lik’ii’inkw silkwhl sax̱sg̱an, ḵ’isgwit gat lax̱sax̱sg̱an. N̓iwil dooḵ diit w̓it’ax̱ hagihlee’e jijap diit, n̓ihl hoox diit halt jakw diit w̓ii Lik’ii’inskw.

G̱al ts’axw g̱asg̱oohl w̓ii lik’ii’inskw tgus nidit nimda’akhlkw diit lax̱sax̱sg̱an. N’iwil saḵ’uts diit hli t’img̱ist iit dooḵ diit hli laxhl w̓ii Liḵ’ii’inskw. Hlat jeg̱am digyoo diit w̓ii hli t’img̱is lik’ii’inskw g̱anhl hli laxt, n̓i wil sit’ama’am bax̱ yeehl aks lax̱t’ax̱, iit gwilks g̱aluks diit hli laxt n̓it an kax̱ gidi dax̱yugwihl wil pdaahl aks. N̓ig̱ant da’aḵhl diit huut diit ahl lax̱ dax. Di k’eex̱kw dit w̓ii hli t’img̱is w̓ii lik’ii’inskw.

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The Bears’ Den totem pole was erected at Gwin’aaha around the year 1900 and carved by Chief Wii Seeks (“Huge Sparkling Star”) of the Killer Whale tribe along with his helper, Chief Niislisyan of the Wolf tribe (owner and master of personal slave by the name of Y’an, “Leonard Douglas”) and N’iikwaxhast (“Fire weed all around”) of the Killer Whale tribe of Wii Seeks house. These carvers were originally from Gitwinksihlkw.

The Bears’ Den pole was purchased in 1929 by the Museum of the American Indian in New York. The National Museum of Canada purchased it from the MAI in 1977 and it now stands in the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa.

Crest Stories:

1. Man holding the Rainbow

There was a grandmother who took her granddaughter named Sg̱aw̓oo into seclusion for one week in an underground hut (called wilba y̓as) “house of menstruation” near her village, according to the Nisg̱a’a tradition for young girls who were having their first menstruation. This was a very sacred ritual and a sacred place, and no men were allowed to enter or look into the hut.

While she and her grandmother were in seclusion, enemy warriors raided the village. When Sg̱aw̓oo and her grandmother emerged from the hut, they found that all of their people were gone and the village had been burned to the ground. Sg̱aw̓oo and her granddaughter were full of grief at their loss.

The grandmother took Sg̱aw̓oo and started walking downstream along the Nass River until they encountered a huge round rock in the river just above the village of Gitlax̱t’aamiks, still visible today. They sat down and Sg̱aw̓oos grandmother began to sing. With her song, she asked if there was anyone who was willing to marry her daughter Sg̱aw̓oo. She hoped that the supernatural nax̱noḵ spirits would answer her plea, as she wished to have someone avenge the death of her people.

These are the words of her song:

Who is going to marry my daughter Sg̱aw̓oo
Who is going to marry my daughter Sg̱aw̓oo
Because the warriors killed all my people
That’s why I am crying, hoping the supernatural will help me.
Who is going to marry my daughter Sg̱aw̓oo

Different animals heard her song and they came to offer themselves as marriage suitors. First came the Grizzly Bear, and the grandmother asked him, “What will you do if the enemy should come?” The Grizzly struck the tree branches with his powerful arms and roared to show his strength, but the grandmother told him, “Not enough. You will not marry my granddaughter.”

Other animals came along and similarly tried to impress the grandmother with their skills, such as the Squirrel, the Salmon, and the Killer Whale. All of them failed to impress the grandmother, and she refused each of them in turn.

Suddenly, there was a great noise like thunder, and a man appeared. He told the grandmother, “I will marry your granddaughter. I am a man from the sky, from Lax̱ha.” Before she could ask him what he could do, he caused a small earthquake and turned a portion of the ground upside-down. She told him, “That will do, my son-in-law.”

He transformed into a giant Eagle, and he took Sg̱aw̓oo and her grandmother under each wing to fly up to Lax̱ha. For the journey, he told them that they must hide their heads in his feathers and not look out.

But grandmother was too curious. Twice she looked out as they were flying up to the sky, and twice they fell together back to earth. The son-in-law pulled a knot out of a large tree trunk, put the grandmother inside, and then plugged the hole with the knot again. (When the trees move and make creaking noises, the Nisg̱a’a say it is Sg̱aw̓oo’s grandmother crying out.)

The sky man took Sg̱aw̓oo up to Lax̱ha and they lived there for some time with the man’s father, the Chief of the Sky. Eventually they had four sons and two daughters, and the Chief was very proud. He gave each of his grandchildren supernatural powers, and he trained them in their use. He gave his grandsons supernatural powers for battle, and his granddaughters special powers for healing battle wounds instantly.

One day the Chief of the Sky told his grandchildren, “Tomorrow I am sending you back to earth, to the village of your grandfathers, and I will provide you with four houses. You must avenge your grandfathers, who were killed by the people in the village opposite yours.”

The next day, a heavy fog descended on the river. The people in the village that had destroyed Sg̱aw̓oo’s people could not see across. When the fog lifted, they saw four beautiful longhouses, each decorated with a bright house front painting. The first house displayed the image of the Sun, the second showed the Stars, the third depicted the Moon, and the fourth displayed a Rainbow in many bright colours.

The people were frightened, but they decided to go across the river to visit the newcomers. They went under the pretense of wanting to gamble with them. They did not know that the newcomers were the grandchildren of the Chief of the Sky and the descendants of the people they had slain years ago.

The newcomers consented to gamble with them, and soon they were winning all of the villagers’ wealth. The young men of the village grew angry, and they plotted to start a fight with the newcomers, imagining that it would be easy to overcome their few numbers.

They returned to the new village the next day and again challenged the newcomers to gamble. Soon they were losing again, and the leader became insulting. He said to one of the grandsons of the Chief of the Sky, “What do you know besides gambling?” The grandson replied, “I can strike anything with my fists, man or beast, and they will die.” The leader taunted him and said, “You could not kill me with your fists! Come and strike me, and we shall see!”

The grandson struck him, and the man fell to the floor, dead. The rest of the villagers gathered together, and another went to attack the grandson with the powerful fists. He too was struck down dead, so they gathered up the bodies and returned to their village, plotting to attack later and destroy the newcomers. “There are only a few, and we will use our arrows and spears so they cannot use their fists.”

The villagers gathered a war party together and went to attack the newcomers, but the grandsons had special powers with shooting their bows and arrows. They had no difficulty in shooting the villagers from a great distance and killing many of them, so the villagers retreated home once more.

The grandsons called after them. “Why do you retreat, you brave people? You killed our uncles. They were only a few, but you were very brave. Now we are fewer, yet you run away from us.”

The villagers now realized who the newcomers were, but it was too late. When they arrived at their village across the river, the eldest brother, who possessed a magic club, waved it and their entire village turned over and buried all of them. The descendants of Sg̱aw̓oo had finally avenged the murder of their ancestors.

2. Killer Whale

There was a young girl name Hlguḵ’alams who was very lazy and doing nothing for her family, so the family disowned her. They left her on an island, and she sat there on the beach, crying with hunger.

A killer whale came along and asked her what had happened. The killer whale told her to climb onto his back and hold onto his fin, and he would return her to the mainland. He took her across the water and left her on the mainland. This is how the modern village of Port Simpson earned its original name, Klguḵ’alaams.

3. One-Legged Being
(story unknown)

4. Sun headdress
5. Chief figure

These two crests accompany each other, with the sun image being the headdress of the chief figure below it.

6. Grizzly Bear of the Sea

There was a large Grizzly Bear that lived in a lake, and he would attack the people when they tried to cross the water. The people made plans to kill the Grizzly so they would be safe in their travels on the lake.

They built a large raft with a hole in the middle, and they paddled out into the middle of the lake. They then waited for the Grizzly to surface and attack the raft.

Suddenly, the Grizzly rose up through the hole in the middle of the raft to attack the people. They took their spears and poles that they had ready and speared the Grizzly, and they succeeded in killing it.

The Grizzly was so gigantic that they couldn’t fit it onto the raft, so they simply cut its head off and collected its fur. When they returned to the shore with the fur and the giant head, the waters of the lake quickly started to rise. They threw the fur into the water, and this stopped the water from rising for awhile. This gave the people time to get to higher ground with the head of the Grizzly Bear.

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