Goddess Wah Ka Nee  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Wah Ka Nee Image
"WAH"-"KAH"-"NEE, T"HE "DRIFTING MAIDEN" WAS BORN AMONG THE CHINOOK PEOPLE OF THE PACIFIC COAST. HER HOME LIES ALONG THE COLUMBIA RIVER.ONE YEAR, THE LEGEND SAYS, THE CHINOOK PEOPLE WERE STRUCK WITH A TERRIBLE ENDLESS WINTER. THEY WERE COMPLETELY ICE-BOUND WITH NO RELIEF IN SIGHT, AND THE PEOPLE BEGAN TO FEAR FOR THEIR SURVIVAL FOR THEY WOULD SOON HAVE NO FOOD. A COUNCIL WAS CALLED, AND THE ELDERS RECALLED THAT ENDLESS WINTER RESULTED FROM THE KILLING OF A BIRD. EACH PERSON WAS ASKED IF HE OR SHE HAD BEEN GUILTY OF SUCH A CRIME. EVERYONE DENIED IT. THE CHILDREN POINTED TO "WAH"-"KAH"-"NEE", WHO CONFESSED THAT SHE HAD STRUCK A BIRD WITH A STONE, AND IT HAD DIED. THE CHINOOK DRESSED THE GIRL IN THE FINEST CLOTHES AND PLACED HER ON A BLOCK OF ICE AS AN OFFERING TO THE WINTER SPIRITS...AND SHE SLOWLY FROZE.

HER ATONEMENT APPEASED THE SPIRIT BEINGS, AND ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, THE ICE BEGAN TO MELT, AND THE RIVER BEGAN TO FLOW. SUMMER CAME WITH A RUSH. NOW THE PEOPLE COULD GATHER FOOD AGAIN. IT WAS NEARLY A YEAR LATER, WHEN THE WINTER RETURNED, THAT THE CHINOOK SAW THE BLOCK OF ICE CONTAINING THE GIRL'S BODY AND FETCHED IT TO SHORE. MIRACULOUSLY, THE GIRL REVIVED AND AFTERWARD LIVED AMONG THEM AS A SACRED BEING, ABLE TO WALK UNPROTECTED, EVEN BAREFOOT, IN THE COLDEST OF WINTER AND TO COMMUNICATE WITH ITS SPIRITS. FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE SHE SERVED AS A SHAMAN FOR HER PEOPLE.

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This entry was posted on 11 October 2008 at Saturday, October 11, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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