North Wind’s Weir

Thin Places


“The Duwamish, Muckleshoot and other native tribes that lived in the Puget Sound area told oral stories to explain the significance of natural events and features in the landscape. One story concerned a collection of large stones in the middle of the Duwamish River, about three miles from its mouth on Elliott Bay. At high water, the stones are completely covered; they’re visible at low water. The stones are associated with North Wind, a major character in the eternal battle between the winds that play a strong role in the region’s climate.

In one version of the story, the character Storm Wind blew several large trees into the river, which floated down the river and hung on the rocks, which resembled a fish weir, a device for capturing fish. The people belonging to the antagonist in the story, North Wind, refused to clear the logs on the weir. Storm Wind’s grandmother solved the problem but showering enough rain from her basket to swell the river and float the logs downstream. Today, a marker explains the story and other features in the surrounding landscape.”

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