At Hunter’s Point on the West Coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands, a villager once heard something whining. He looked for the voice and found two wild puppies in the hollow of a tree. Taking them home, he raised them, and they grew rapidly, for they were not ordinary dogs. They soon became large supernatural dogs: Sea Wolves. He missed them one morning and looked everywhere for them. About midday he saw them away off at sea. They were coming back from their chase with three whales each: one in the mouth, the second between the ears, and the last held on the back with the tail. And they dragged their load upon the seashore. Every morning, the dogs hunted for whales and captured more than was needed to feed a whole tribe.Their master and his wife smoked the whale meat and put the blubber in the cedar boxes to store it, but then there was so much of it, that it began to rot. By then they had given away as much of their supplies as they could to other tribes, including that of Skidegate where the wife’s family belonged.The mother-in-law was a miser, and she was greedy. She picked a quarrel with her son-in-law, the hunter and owner of the two Sea Wolves. One time, when she went to pay him and her daughter a visit, he poured rotten whale grease into her best “Chinese slippers” and on the mussels he served her. She could not eat a mouthful and was vexed.In retaliation, one morning after the Sea Wolves had swum away, she heated stones on a fire on the beach and put them into a pot full of water. As soon as the water had boiled, she threw it into the ocean and produced a big storm which kept everyone homebound. Nobody could travel, and the Sea Wolves were unable to land. The hunter, growing worried, kept watching for them and climbing the hillside to look out.
At long last, he saw them coming back and approaching the steep cliff, but they failed to climb it. So they changed their course toward Skidegate Channel. They swam as far as Lawn Hill Point and, exhausted, dragged themselves ashore. There they turned into two large rocks, where they have remained to this day.
Born in 1949, Gerry Marks grew up in Vancouver, largely unaware of his Haida artistic traditions. Subsequent to meeting Haida master-artist, Bill Reid and discovering, at the young age of twenty, the fine metalwork of his grandfather, John Marks, he began to focus his energy on understanding this tradition.
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