Sunday, June 29, 2008

Go West Young Man...or in this case "girl".

A few weeks ago I traveled to Washington State and Vancouver, British Columbia. One stop at the end of my vacation was a delightful Art Fair in Edmonds, WA. There were lots of kiosks with all types of wares: flowers, pottery, fresh honey, jewelry, gorgeous handmade quilts and art work of every shape in size.

One particularly creative artist I met was Judy Meddaugh, a botanical collage artist who fashions jewelry, cards, ceramics and pictures out of plants and flowers. You can view some of her amazing work by clicking on her name above I purchased two of her jewelry items for gifts and coveted much of her art work. Many pieces were reasonably priced, while some were out of my reach. However, since I was traveling, the thought of carrying a framed piece of work onto a plane didn't appeal to me. The next best thing was to buy some of her cards, which I will frame and display.

Of course, the storyteller in me had to buy one card that shared a story on the back. Here is the Native American legend from the Samish Tribe.

The Maiden of Deception Pass

Ko-kwal-alwoot was a beautiful Samish Indian girl living in a village in Deception Pass. She was gathering seafood one day when a young man from beneath the sea saw her and fell in love. But when the man of the sea asked her father for her hand in marriage, he refused, for fear she would drown.

The young man warned her father that the seafood would disappear unless she married him. When his warning proved to be true, her father granted permission for the marriage. The beautiful woman waded in to the sea to join her new husband. Once again the seafood returned and was plentiful.

Ko-kwal-awoot returned to her people once a year for four years. Barnacles had grown upon her hands and arms, and her long raven hair turned to kelp. Chill winds followed wherever she walked, and she seemed to be unhappy out of the sea. Seeing this, her people told her she did not need to return to them. Since that day, she has been the Samish Tribe's guiding spirit, and through her protection there has always been plenty of seafood and pure, sweet spring water.

I discovered a bit longer version of the tale on the Internet, which explains a little more about the statue itself. Carved out of red cedar it has two sides, one side depicts a beautiful maiden, the other tells the tale of her fate.

There are many more stories to share about my trip but that will have to wait for another day. The sunshine is calling!

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