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Strength, Learned Humility, Motherhood and Teaching.
Bear is the protector of the animal kingdom, awakening the power of the unconscious. As a symbol of great strength, authority and mobility it is an important family crest. Due to its power and human-like qualities, the bear was referred to by West Coast people as Elder Kinsmen. When killed, it was taken to the chief’s house, sprinkled with eagle down (a symbol of welcome and friendship) and generally treated as a high ranking guest.
Dependability and Renewal.
A Provider Symbol of abundance and prosperity, the salmon was the chief sustenance for the West Coast Natives. The Pacific Northwest Coast people believed that Salmon were actually humans with eternal life who lived in a large house far under the ocean. In the Spring, they put on their Salmon disguises and offered themselves to the villagers as food. The tribes believed that when entire fish skeletons were returned to the sea, the spirits would rise again and change into Salmon people. In this way, the cycle could begin again the following year.