wa is the Wild Woman of the Woods. She controls the water of life and can bring back the dead by sprinkling this magic liquid on them. Her power is such that her very presence causes mortals to swoon or have nightmares.
wa has a hairy body, pendulous breasts, and purses her lips when she makes her cry: "uu huu uu". She has long, wild hair and wears a large basket on her back to carry away unwary children that she finds in her travels.
wa has children of her own, she collects the children of mortals that she plans to eat. She captures these
children and tries to take them to her remote house in the woods, but the children always manage to outwit her and escape.
wa is not often seen today because she does not like the sounds of contemporary life, like powerboats. She will steal smoked salmon and other food from humans and will reward those who help her.
Dance and Regalia:
The last dances of the ˜sek
a may be the dzunu„
wa. You can always
recognize her. She is a crazy, wild woman from the
woods with lips rounded and sticking out. She has
large breasts hanging down, and makes a swooping motion
with her hands portraying the putting of children
into the basket that she wears on her back.
wa may also come out during the t‡a'sa
There is also a Chief's Dzunu„
wa, which is
the last dance that comes out at the potlatch of a
new Chief. A relative will go out and put the great
wa mask or Gika
m‡ on the
new Chief. He doesn't dance; he just stands there
and chants "Hoooooo".
This mask was owned by Price Bruce, who is from the Ma'a
mtagila First Nation originally from I'tsika
n (Etsekin). It returned to the U'mista Cultural Centre from the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 1979.