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We want to share the legend of Tukwila, the official state nut.  The word “Tukwila” is the Chinook name for Filbert
(Hazelnut, as it is known now).

In her book, “Legends of the Pacific Northwest”, Ella E. Clark relates a favorite Indian legend, “The Hazelnut, a guardian Spirit”.

One time a man was cracking hazelnuts on a large stone, using a smaller stone as a hammer.  When he struck one of the nuts an ordinary blow, it sprang away and lighted at a little distance from him.  The man picked it up and struck at it a second time, but again the hazelnut sprang away.  “You are brave,” said the man as he picked it up, “but I will break you anyway”.  He seized the nut firmly and tried to strike it a heavy blow.  But a third time it leaped away in the grass.  The man hunted and hunted, but he could not find it.  Some nights later, a young boy in search of his guardian spirit came to the hiding place of the Hazelnut.  He heard a voice speak to him.  “Look at me, my boy,” said the spirit of the hazelnut, “and listen to what I tell you.  No enemy can hold me or hunt me, even though I am struck heavy blows.  When I hide, none can find me.  I am strong and I can give you strength.  If you will always do as I bid you, you will have my power.  The enemy may surround you and catch you, but they cannot hold you.  You can spring from their grasp and hide before their eyes.  They will never find you if you obey me”.  The boy told no one about the hazelnut, but ever after he followed its direction and it warnings.  When he became a man, he had a strange power of escaping and hiding from anyone who attacked him.  Even when he was seized and surrounded by a large band of the enemy, he was always able to break away.  He became a great warrior among the innate people through the help of the hazelnut, his guardian spirit.

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