The Huu-ay-aht story of the great earthquake of 1700 Steven Earle, Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, BC
Huu-ay-aht Huu-ay-aht oral traditions mythical stories of many kinds (including
stories of animals with human characteristics and stories of magical passages into other places) stories of great exploits and wars stories of common events such as finding
food, potlatches and rights of passage a story about an earthquake and a tsunami Chief Louis Nookmiis (1880-1964)
This is the most important story the Huu-ay-aht people have West Coast Trail
Nookmiis Anacla-aq-sop Thomas de Suria, 1791
boulder lifting contest climbing up a slippery pole guessing game with a feather
long-jump across a ravine In the jumping competition the youngest brother of Nookmiis succeeded in
jumping across the ravine, but in doing so he smashed his head against a rock and died. Nookmiis and Analcaaq-sop were married,
and she went to live with him in Kiixin kixiin
Kiixin Air photo Air photo
Anacla Pachena Bay
I think it was at night time that the land shook They simply had no time to get hold
of canoes, no time to get awake. They sank all at once, were all drowned; not one survived I think it was a big wave smashed
into the beach. The Pachena Bay people were lost Approximate area of rupture zone
Pachena Bay Other evidence of a great earthquake
port alberni A tsunami wave hit several locations in western Japan on January 27th 1700. There is no record of a corresponding earthquake occurring near to Japan, or anywhere else around the Pacific Ocean
Based on the time for the wave to cross the ocean it is estimated that the quake struck at around 9 PM local time on January 26th, 1700.
According to Chief Louis, everyone living at Pachena Bay was killed in the tsunami. Anacla aq sop, who was living in Kiixin with Nookmiis, was the only surviving member of her people.
The current chief of the Huu ay aht, Spencer Peters, is a direct descendant of Chief Louis and of Nookmiis
and Anacla aq sop. Application of the Pachena Bay story to teaching: learn about why earthquakes happen
learn about why they happen here learn about the impacts tsunami waves shaking and destruction
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