Wednesday 7 July 2010

Sasquatch belief and stories

Bigfoot believers  Tuesday, July 6, 2010
TAHOLAH — Phillip Martin knows the Quinault River. The 79-year-old Quinault tribal elder is an experienced guide, having fished on the river for years. He’s memorized the landscape. The sounds of the wind whispering through the trees. The cry of an eagle circling through the sky. The way the river smells and flows at different parts of the day. Nothing can startle him.Well, almost nothing.
He recalls a fishing trip more than 50 years ago that made him want to go home. The sun was setting, casting long shadows over his crew’s cedar canoe. As he paddled through the calm water, there was a loud splatter, as if someone had thrown a rock. “There’s this big ker-splash!” Martin exclaimed. “Holy smokes!” “There are no cliffs and it was all flat bar. I said, ‘Well, the only thing I could think of was ‘Ol C’iatqo.’ He’s the only one around here that makes everyone want to just get out of here.” C’iatqo (pronounced SEA-at-co) is one of the many words Native Americans throughout the country use to describe the ape-like creature — commonly referred to as Bigfoot — that allegedly inhabits the wilderness. Martin, along with several Quinault Indians and members of various other Olympic Peninsula tribes, were interviewed this spring about the creature and its influence on Native culture for an upcoming show on the A&E network.
Harvest Moon is familiar with several native legends about Bigfoot. The Quinault woman works as a storyteller at the Lake Quinault Lodge and other resorts along the coast during the summer.She tells the story of the “Glue-Keek” monster she learned from a Lummi elder and its ties to the creation of mosquitos. The monster frightens tribal members and prevents them from hunting and gathering food. “His legs were as big as tree trunks,” she said while swaying her hips and making arm and hand gestures during a recent storytelling presentation at the Lake Quinault Lodge. “His skin was as tough as leather and his eyes had a hypnotic glow to them. The monster started chasing the women through the berry patch. He took his huge, big feet, knocking over every basket of berries, wasting them on the ground.”According to the legend, warriors from various tribes gathered and vowed to kill the monster. They dug a hole, tricked Glue-Keek into falling into it and burned him. As Glue-Keek perished, he swore he would return to drink the villagers’ blood. As his ashes ascended into the air, they transformed into mosquitos. Moon said though some stories may seem exaggerated, they’re often based on real experiences.  She’s almost sure she had an experience with a Sasquatch recently. Earlier this year, she completed a mid-life “passage.” Passages are life stages every Quinault goes through — birth, teenager, mid-life and elder. Moon had to camp in the Quinault Rain forest until she felt she completed the passage. She stayed in a tent — with minimal amenities and survival gear — on and off for three years. She would often walk the trails, and strip bark from trees to use for weaving baskets. One night she woke in her tent with a “paralyzing” feeling, and thought something was standing outside.“They say (Glue-Keek) can hypnotize you,” Moon said. “I couldn’t move or speak. You couldn’t get a peep out of me. I didn’t know if it was a dream or if it really happened.”
Whether or not Bigfoot’s existence can be proven by science doesn’t matter to Martin.  He’s heard stories from Natives in Taholah, Elwha Valley and the Lummi reservation, north of Bellingham, who say they’ve heard it running on rooftops and banging on doors.He said some native stories about C’iatqo were made up, just to scare children so they wouldn’t misbehave or wander off into the woods. He’s never seen one personally, but says he’d “never call anybody a liar because so many (Natives) have seen them along the roads and rivers and beaches when they’re out hunting. And we’ve seen tracks. They’re undisputed.”He describes an incident his daughter, who lives with her husband on the Lummi reservation, once shared. He said they heard a loud pounding noise outside their house:“Whatever was pounding on them had to be at least six, seven feet tall,” he said, mimicking a slamming motion with his fist. “It scared the hell out of them. They thought someone was throwing rocks at first, but it kept repeating. ... By the time they got out there they didn’t find anything. After a while, they said, ‘I’ll bet it was a C’iatqo.’”
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bigbradwolf said...

Thanks heaps for this article. I've been writing a story about Bigfoot and it's exactly the sort of thing I wanted to know more about - local legends. Keep up the great work. :)

Tabitca said...

Thank you. It was nice of you to say so. It is comments like that, that keep me posting.

Haackster said...

My sister had an encounter with these creatures while camping on Lake quinault back in the 1990s. Shape shifterso and ventriloquist.very dangerous.