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Traditions and Stories

The Legend of Washkanaba

The Legend of Washkanaba
As related by Kurt Karlinsey, Mt. Rainier Council, September, 1973.

This is the legend of Washkanaba and Drum Beater Lake. All this is happened many years ago, at the time of the coming of the white man. It is true, it is a simple tale. It has changed little in the telling and re-telling, throughout the generations of the People.

In that time, the Lakes were called: Turtle, Pipe, and Drum Beater. They have not been changed by the hand of man, only given new names. Today, you know them as U-Lake, Alder/Aldrich Lake, and Robbins Lake. On a map, you would locate them on the high ground to the east, across the Sound from the little town that bears the name of Captain Hood, after one of the early day explorers.

The People were called simply, the People, and the lake, Drum Beater. This is their story:

Life was good then, they fished the Sound and the lakes. They tilled the soil in the open parks, the crops were bounteous, and game plentiful. In the summer they prepared for the season of cold, when hunger stalked the land. They dried fish, made jerky, pemmican, and stored vegetables and nuts. They prepared the clothing they would need and secured their lodges.

Winter for them became a happiness time, a time for telling the old legends, the teaching of youth, for courting, visiting, and dancing.

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