Grand Hall tour

Sisiutl House Posts

Three upright figures are supporting a massive beam with a double-headed mythical sea serpent, Sisiutl, depicted at either end. The centre post represents a bird and the outside ones are humans. On the beam above the bird is a human face, and below the bird's feet is another human face. These posts were erected in the 1880s at the Kwakwaka'wakw village of Dzawadi, on the mainland at Knight Inlet where people gathered for eulachon fishing. The structure was supposed to be part of a house, but the owner died and the house was never constructed; instead, the poles were used as his grave marker.

According to legend, Sisiutl strikes terror in human hearts. He is a soul searcher who sees from both front and back. He is continually searching for truth and seeks people who cannot control their fear -- people who do not yet know truth. If people do not know how to deal with fear, they could be killed or turned into stone. The Sisiutl myth teaches the importance of staring fear in the face.