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HALIBUT

Halibut threw off his skin to become the first human after the flood. The Tlingit of Alaska believe the thrashing of his tail is what broke the islands of Haida Gwaii. Halibuts are well known for feasting on Octopus, his favorite food. Legend tells the calamitous tale of the great warrior Sores, who defeated the whale that had been swallowing canoes, yet died at battle with the Halibut who was stealing fishermen’s hooks. In light of that legend, one can only imagine the dangers of capturing Halibut in giant west coast waves, from a canoe.

 

Halibuts are depicted as a large fish with two eyes on the same side of the body. Sometimes Halibut can be confused with the giant sea monster called Namxelagiyuwe, as Namxelagiyuwe is shaped like a giant Halibut. The main difference between these two sea creatures, is that Namxelagiyuwe has a crystal stone protruding from his forehead, which Halibut does not, making this one sure way to distinguish one from the other.

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SOURCES​

Ulli Steltzer Indian Artists at Work  (1976)​

Campbell River Museum & Archives

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