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Native American Legends: Boqs

Name: Boqs
Also known as: Skookum
Tribal affiliation: Bella Coola, Chinook, Salish
Type: Forest spirit, Bigfoot
Related figures in other tribes: Sasquatch (Coast Salish), Siatco (Chehalis)

Boqs are large, hairy wild men of the forest. In the folklore of more northern tribes, such as the Bella Coola, boqs are malevolent, dangerous monsters who may eat people or molest women. But in Chinook and Salishan versions of these legends, Boqs are sometimes depicted as more benign beings like the Halkomelem Sasquatch. Sometimes Boqs are also called by the name "Skookum," which is a word from the Chinook Jargon trade language meaning "big" or "powerful." This is sometimes a source of confusion, because "Skookum" has been used in Chinook literature to refer to many different sorts of powerful beings, not just Boqs.

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Boqs Stories

    Bella Coola (Nuxalk) legends about the Boqs.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Coyote Was Going There: Indian Literature of the Oregon Country:
    Excellent collection of folklore from the Chinook and other Oregon tribes.
Salish Myths and Legends:
    Anthology of legends from the Bella Coola and other Salish tribes.
The Mythology Of The Bella Coola Indians:
    Collection of Nuxalk legends and traditional stories.

Additional Resources

 Traders of the Columbia River
 Chinook spirits
 Chinook Jargon
 Bella Coola language
 Languages of British Columbia
 Northwest tribes
 Wakashan languages

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