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Legends of the Secwepemc
Story of the Moon

Moon over Secwepemc Territory circa 2003

The Moon was a very handsome man. During the winter he traveled constantly, camping every night in a different place. He had a wife called Wala and they had many children. When traveling, the Moon always went ahead and prepared a home (the halo) for his wife and children to camp in.

Wala always carried her large birch bark baskets on her back. She carried her snow shovel made from birch bark in her hands. She used the shovel for filling buckets with snow to melt for water. Melted snow was the only water they could get in the winter.

One morning Wala said to her husband, “Where are you going to pitch our camp tonight?” Where will you prepare a camp for your children?”.

She asked the question several times, but Moon never answered. At last he said, “Camp on my face”. His wife listened to him and, jumping on his face, got stuck there. Moon could not get her off.

So the Moon’s handsome face become disfigured, and, when he transformed into the present moon, he could not shine very brightly.

Wala may still be seen on the Moon’s face, holding her birch bark baskets and snow shovel.

 

The Moon and Wala, Told by Flora Sampson

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