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Native American Legends

The Deluge

An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown

At one time there was a flood that covered the earth, and most of the people were drowned. When the waters rose, the people fled to the mountains; but some were overtaken and drowned on the way, and others were drowned on the tops of the lower mountains.

All the land was flooded except the tops of a few very high mountains. Xäls and his wife and daughters escaped in a large canoe. They were chiefs. After paddling about for many days and nights, they became very tired. They drifted against the top of Qotse'lis Mountain, and there they made a hole through a stone, and moored their canoe by passing a heavy cedar-bark cable through the hole.

Here they stayed and gauged the increase and decrease of the water with stakes as marks. After flowing and receding several times, the water at last receded, and they cast off their canoe. The flood now subsided rapidly, and they found themselves in the Lower Fraser Valley.

Some say they had drifted there from the south. Now all the water was gone, excepting some that remained in the form of lakes and ponds, filling up the hollows and depressions. After this Xäls traveled over the world, and taught the survivors of the flood how to act and how to work. He was very wise, and taught the people how to pray, and do every kind of work. He traveled among all the neighboring coast tribes.

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