The Wild Man of the Woods
Bukwus, also known as the Wild Man of the Woods, is an eerie supernatural creature from the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. This figure can be found lurking at the edge of a stream or in the shadows of the forest, always in search of souls that he can steal for himself. The souls that are caught by the Bukwus can be seen hovering near him, and are eternally condemned to misery, hunger, wandering, and evilness.
Bukwus and First Nations
This mysterious and elusive wild man lurks near the edge of the dark forest where he lives, offering food to lost humans, luring them to become spirits in his shadowy underworld.
Bukwus is generally conceived as short (about four feet tall), and green. He can be viewed as a guardian spirit, protecting the deep woods from intrusion and harm. Dancers will portray him creeping to a sand bank on a sunny morning to dig for cockles, which is his favourite food. He is very shy and looks about to see if he is being watched, shading his face from the sun with his hands. Suddenly he leaps forward, settles on one knee searching for cockles, and devours them quickly, occasionally uttering a high pitched whoop or shriek from a concealed whistle.
Credit to www.hills.ca/native-symbols
Native Art - The Wild Man of the Woods Symbol
Spirits of the West Coast Native Art Gallery sells masks and other works inspired by the Wild Man of the Woods symbol.
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