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Above: This Dickey River cable bridge photo was taken near Mora by Fannie Taylor around 1906. Photo from the Forks Timber Museum Below: Early settlers built this school at Shuwah around 1890. Photo by Eleanor Thornton Now the Old People knew that frogs are very powerful spirit creatures because they can live in two worlds: in air on land and in the water. When the Dickey River man had that frog skin on, he could go underwater and catch a lot of bluebacks that he took down to his village by the canoe-load. He quickly became thought of as a powerful fisherman and was invited to join the T’sqyik, the fisherman’s spirit society. He invited chiefs to ha?wok(w)sil (hah-WOKE-hw-sill, “potlatches”) and had big hereditary names put on him. He commissioned canoes and

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bought slaves. And finally he was invited by a chiefly family up on the Sol Duc to come and court their daughter. Her family was happy to have him. The couple moved up to the little lake that he named Haga’y-sh.ksa, and they continued to grow in reputation. But now, when he put on the frog skin, each time it was harder to get off. And one day he almost couldn’t get it off. For some time he didn’t put the frog skin on, but soon the family was hungry, and he had to know if that source of wealth was being cut off to him. He told his wife that something might happen to him, and if it did, she should return to her family. That afternoon, having caught a pile of fish, he struggled and struggled, but the frog skin wouldn’t come off. He went back into the lake and there he stayed. His wife didn’t obey the instructions he had given her, and she lived on alone at the lake until she died. The Old People reported that people sometimes saw a frog as big as a bear in the shadows of the lake.

There used to be a trail from the Dickey River, up West Gunderson Creek and across the area of seasonal ponds and swamp to Soowaq(w) (Shuwah), a mile and a half to the east.

Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula, December 2017  


Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula, December 2017