Cannibal Giant of western North America.
Etymology: Kwakiutl (Wakashan), “man of the
woods” or “ape.”
Variant names: Boks or Puks (Bella Coola/Salishan),
Bowis (Tsimshian/Penutian), Pi’kis
(Nass-Gitksian/Penutian), Pokwas, Pukmis
(Nootka/Wakashan), Pukwubis (Makah/
Physical description: Height, about 5 feet.
Covered with long hair. Face hairless and protruding.
Thick browridges. Splayed nostrils.
Pointed ears. No chin. Strong chest. Long arms.
Behavior: Walks with a stooping gait. Shrieks
and whistles, especially at night. Has a bad odor.
Eats clams. Has no fear of fire. Travels by canoe.
Sometimes described as the spirit of a drowned
person or a transformed otter.
Distribution: British Columbia and Washington
Significant sighting: Represented on carved,
wooden masks used for ritual purposes. One
mask was collected around 1914 from Nass-
Gitksian Indians in northern British Columbia
and is in Harvard’s Peabody Museum. It features
browridges, splayed nostrils, a jutting jaw without
a chin, and thick lips.