Lummi Indian Legend

Koma Kulshan, or the "Great White Watcher"


The Lummi Native Americans in northern Washington claim that Mt. Rainier was the jealous wife of Mt. Baker. Rainier was both Baker’s senior and favorite wife but, unlike the kindly dispositioned (Mt.) Shuksan, who was Baker’s younger wife, Rainier had a terrible temper. This eventually led Baker to favor Shuksan. Rainier, enraged, threatened to leave him, but Baker ignored her. So, she left, slowly heading south alone. She kept stopping and looking back, expecting Baker to call to her, but he never did. She carried on and camped for the night on the highest point of land that she could find. Trying to see Baker and her children, Rainier stood higher and higher, until she stood higher than any of the surrounding mountains. Still, Baker never called her back. Thus, on a clear day or a clear night, the mountain dresses in sparkling white and looks with longing at Baker and the mountain children near him.