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The Sisiutl or Sea Serpent Symbol

The Native Sea Serpent Symbol symbolises protection, incredible power and revival.  It is one of the most powerful symbols in the Kwakwaka’wakw nation. The Sisiutl is a supernatural three headed serpent that possesses powerful shape shifting abilities, and when looked at turned spectators into stone.  Not only can the Sisiutl change shape into a human or animal it can change its shape into a self propelled canoe fed by seals.

Sisiutl or Sea Serpent Symbol and First Nations

Native healers tried to kill the Sisiutl for its magic and healing power, and warriors tried to kill it so they could rub the blood on their bodies believing that it would make them invincible. Warriors often wore headbands, belts or other accessories with images of the Sisiutl to protect them from harm. Sisiutls were painted on the sides of canoes and painted or carved in entranceways to protect people from evil spirits. Some old tribes believed that mica, a mineral found on beaches were the scales from the Sisiutl.

Native Art - The Sea Serpent Symbol

Spirits of the West Coast Native Art Gallery sells Sea Serpent Symbol prints, Native American Jewelry, Sea Serpent Native carvings, Sea Serpent ceremonial masks, gold and silver bracelets and bentwood boxes, all inspired by the Sea Serpent Symbol.


If you have any further information or stories with or about this Native American Symbol or totem and you would like to share them with our readers, please feel free to email them to us. If they are appropriate we will add them to this page. Thank you!