The Huu-ay-aht story of the great earthquake of

The Huu-ay-aht story of the great earthquake of

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

Nookmiis Anaclaaq-sop


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

learn about First Nations culture and history

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