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All living things....

Frog

Frog is a creature of great importance in Northwest Coast art and culture. As a creature that lives in two worlds, water and land, Frog is revered for his adaptability, knowledge and power to traverse worlds and inhabit both natural and supernatural realms. Frogs are primary spirit helpers of shamans. A great communicator, Frog often represents the common ground or voice of the people. Frog's songs are believed to contain divine power and magic. When shown in art as touching or sharing his tongue with another creature, Frog represents an exchange of knowledge and power. Frog designs are commonly used as decorative elements, so that Frog faces, for example, peek out from another creature's ears, mouth or hands. In symbolic terms the emergence of frog from these orifices may represent an eruption of magic and unseen interior and other worlds.

Frog is often associated with copper and great wealth. Legendary Haida princes are said to have attended feasts wearing necklace chains made of living Frogs. The Haida carved Frog on house pole to prevent them from falling over. They also included them in many other carvings, from feast bowls to totem poles. Frogs on Haida Gwaii, B.C.'S Queen Charlotte Islands, are actually northern toads. One Haida name for Frog (toad) is "crab of the woods".

Many legends are attached to this whimsical little animal. The Tlingit of Alaska tell of it's distribution in a story about a chief's daughter who made fun of Frog. She was then lured into his lake by Frog in human form, who then married her. Her angry parents drained the lake and scattered Frogs in every direction. Some B.C. First nations told that Frog announces the end of the winter dance season. It is said that when the last snowflakes of winter touch the ground they turn into Frogs. Then the Native people know that there is only six weeks until the Salmon begin returning to the rivers and summer begins.

One story about Frog tells he was volcano woman's only child. One day Frog saw evil men hunting only for pleasure rather than necessity. When the men noticed Frog they killed him. Volcano woman erupted in her sorrow and furry, crying great tears of lava. She destroyed the earth, but in time it would be born again even stronger and more fertile.

Yet another Frog legend says a village was starving because no one could catch any fish or game, so a warrior went out to try to find some food. No one had been successful for a long time. The warrior met a bird who instructed him to follow, so he could help him. The bird brought him to a Frog, who let the warrior wear his skin. With the Frog skin, the warrior was able to get enough food for the whole village but, as time passed, the warrior was fully transformed into a Frog, and he went to sea. There he could live and catch fish and other seafood. Until his days were no longer he provided these foods to his village.

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