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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/ 
Wakashan).

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 
State.

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.

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