Sasquatch sighting: new exhibit, Mysterious Beings of the Woods, opens July 11

Examines ancient native oral histories documenting the possible presence of mysterious humanoid beings

  • Thursday, July 5, 2018 12:55pm
  • Life

For the Reporter

The White River Valley Museum’s new exhibit, Sasquatch: Ancient Native Perspectives on the Mysterious Beings of the Woods, opens July 11. It examines ancient native oral histories documenting the possible presence of mysterious humanoid beings that live deep within the Pacific Northwest forests.

The exhibit is open through Dec. 16.

Visitors immerse themselves in four story depictions native elders told to early anthropologists. Many native people of today are hesitant to speak about the mysterious beings of the woods, because saying their name may call them to you. In an effort to respect others’ beliefs and privacy, the curators have not interviewed any contemporary people about this subject – instead they have relied on words of elders long past. Most of those elders were born before 1880, so their oral histories reach far back in time.

Visitors are immersed in the settings of mysterious beings like:

Dzoonokwa (pronounced zoo-no-kwa) – a dark-haired forest giant (most accounts speak of a female) identified for millennia by Native people on Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland. She is known to steal children who wander too far from home.

Sasquatch – usually seen individually, not in groups, and described as a human-like giant covered in dark fur, with footprints about 20 inches long. The Sasquatch has a touch that renders individuals unconscious.

Stick Indians – wild humanoids known as tricksters. They are little people who steal and can make neighbors lives difficult in many ways if they choose.

Slapu – known by Native people from the Clallam area as a giantess who steals children and smoked salmon, and is reason to stay in at night.

Upper S’Klallam artist and storyteller Roger Fernandes’s artwork forms the foundation of the exhibit. Exhibit settings come alive with spoken quotes from anthropological records.

In addition to depictions, there are native masks, oral histories and maps assembled to describe the deep traditional history of these mysterious beings of the woods. A fascinating analysis of 21 traits of the mysterious beings from more than one dozen Northwest native tribes describes how the commonly- reported traits differ among the populations. Traits include: size (a giant, 7-plus-foot tall), nocturnal, hairy, fast-moving, whistles, steals food, women and/or children, causes unconsciousness, makes viewers crazy, kills or tricks people, has a spike or knife-like toe nail.

The museum, 918 H St. SE, Auburn, is open Wednesday through Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. On the first Thursday of each month, the hours are extended from 6 to 8 p.m.

Regular admission is $5 adults, $2 seniors and children, children 2 years of age or younger are free. Admission is free for everyone on the first Thursday and the third Sunday of every month.

4Culture, Hugh & Jane Ferguson Foundation, and the Tulalip Tribe Charity Fund are sponsoring the exhibit.

Call 253-288-7433 or visit for event information.


Upcoming exhibit events:

Aug. 2, 7 p.m. – Native storytelling with Roger Fernandes. Recommended ages: 7 and up. Free (no registration but space is limited).

Sept. 6, 6 p.m. – Big Foot Does Not Like Birthday Parties Story and Song Time with Eric Ode. Recommended ages: 3 and up. Free (no registration but space is limited).

Nov. 1, 6-8 p.m. – Sasquatch themed Snack & Paint. Recommended ages: 5 and up. Free (no registration but space is limited).

Nov. 3, 2-3 p.m. – Creature Classification with Point Defiance Zoo. $6 per child, ages 7-12 (pre-registration required)/

Dec. 8, 2 p.m. – Sasquatch: Man-Ape or Myth? Lecture with David George Gordon. Recommended ages: 12 and up. Included with regular museum admission or membership

More in Life

‘Celebrate:’ Pacific Ballroom Dance performs holiday concert Nov. 29-30

Program features 140 dancers, and a special guest

Auburn Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series comes to Kent, Auburn

Musicians to perform works by Beethoven, Britten and Loeffler

29th annual Pacific Holiday Bazaar coming Saturday, Nov. 17

The 29th annual Pacific Holiday Bazaar is Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9… Continue reading

Auburn library November listings | KCLS

Events for adults, families and children

Joey Jewell is an established Frank Sinatra impersonator. COURTESY PHOTO
Joey Jewell’s Tribute to Frank Sinatra and Friends returns to the Auburn Ave Theater

Jim Kerl’s Swing Session big band and Jewell take you back to the heyday of Las Vegas and the reigning king of the strip

Seattle International Comedy Competition continues at the Ave

The 39th annual Seattle International Comedy Competition returns at 7:30 p.m. Friday,… Continue reading

Auburn Avenue Theater seeks production crew

Paid positions offered in specializes stage areas

Photos, maps, fun facts make this book addicting

You know? Of course you do, because you’re no dummy. You’re on… Continue reading

Vintage warplanes from the World War I era. COURTESY PHOTO, Museum of Flight
Museum of Flight: a weekend of military events for Veterans Day

Sunday, Nov. 11 free for veterans and active military, programs include concert, patriotic ceremony, World War I aviation presentation

Chase Padgett, an actor and musician for over 15 years, performs at the Ave on Saturday night. COURTESY PHOTO
Versatile Chris Padgett to perform 6 Guitars at the Auburn Ave Theater

6 Guitars is a pitch perfect blend of music, comedy and characters.… Continue reading

You’ll want to read ‘Dracul’ with the lights on

It was just a little scratch. You wouldn’t have even noticed it,… Continue reading

Auburn-area community calendar | Oct. 18

Events Auburn Tourism: For special events or to add a special event,… Continue reading