Myth and Folklore Wiki
Advertisement

The Porpoise People are recorded in the folklore of the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of

Haida

Haida Porpoise by Brian Webb

North America. According to Haida culture, the porpoise people lived in villages underwater and controlled a large part of their food supply. According to Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest, two Quinault brothers brothers speared a porpoise in ancient times. The porpoise pulled them to a mystical village of red smoke. The villagers introduced the Quinault to the various types salmon as food sources. According to Franz Boas, a Nootka "dolphin" hunter was transformed into a marine mammal after he agreed to stop hunting them. However, in this version he was transformed into a seal. Boas's Delfinjäger translates to "Dolphin Hunter," although it actually refers to a harbour porpoise. There are many historical accounts of human-wild dolphin/porpoise interaction. According to Native-languages.org, "Porpoise are also occasionally used as a clan crest or totem in Northwestern tribes, such as the Tlingit Porpoise Clan, called Chookaneidi or Chukanedi in Tlingit. Porpoise can sometimes be found carved on totem poles in these cultures."

Sources[]

  • Bane, Theresa. Encyclopedia of Giants and Humanoids in Myth, Legend and Folklore. McFarland; Company, Inc., Publishers, 2016.
  • Judson, Katharine Berry. Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest: Especially of Washington and Oregon. Nabu Press, 2010.
  • Boas, Franz, et al. Indian Myths & Legends from the North Pacific Coast of America: a Translation of Franz Boas' 1895 Edition of Indianische Sagen Von Der Nord-Pacifischen Küste Amerikas. Talon Books, 2006.
  • “Native American Porpoise Mythology.” Native American Indian Porpoise Legends, Meaning and Symbolism from the Myths of Many Tribes, www.native-languages.org/legends-porpoise.htm.
Advertisement