Bash Bish Falls, Carly Quissett Photography
The Legend of Bash Bish
Legend has it that a beautiful Indian woman, called Bash Bish, lived in a village near the Falls. She was a cheerful sister to all. Yet one day a jealous friend accused her of adultery. She pleaded innocent before the village council, but the stern elders sentenced her to death. She was to be strapped to a canoe and turned loose upstream from the Falls.
The moment before her execution, the rays of the sun formed a halo around her body and a ring of colorful butterflies fluttered around her head.
The canoe plunged into the Falls. Smashed, it was retrieved from the pool at the base of the Falls, but no trace of Bash Bish’s body was found. Villagers concluded Bash Bish was a witch. The memory of her execution haunted their sleep for years to come.
The story might have ended there had Bash Bish not left a young daughter, White Swan. White Swan grew to enjoy health, beauty, and the love of Whirling Wind, a great chief’s son. But some unexplainable loneliness often caused her to climb to the gorge above the Falls. When she discovered she was unable to give Whirling Wind children, she decided to end her life by plunging into the turbulent waters of the Falls. Whirling Wind, who without White Swan’s knowledge had followed her up the gorge, followed his love into the water.
Once again, the villagers searched the lower pool. Although they found Whirling Wind’s battered body, they never found any sign of White Swan. It is said the images of Bash Bish and White Swan sometimes appear fleetingly in the Falls.