The name ʼNa̱mǥis comes from a story about ʼNamxiyalegiyu (the Halibut-Like Sea Monster). Before the great flood a ʼNa̱mǥis man knew it would happen because the Creator had sent a message in his dreams. He knew he must wait by the ocean for a huge sea monster, ʼNamxiyalegiyu whose name meant “something terrible”. When rain began and never stopped, ʼNamxiyalegiyu arose from the depths. It was so huge that the tides dropped around the world. The man climbed onto the sea monster, but ʼNamxiyalegiyu was so big that he seemed to be a tiny dot on its gigantic back. The Creator gave this man supernatural power with which he could breathe underwater. ‘Namxiyalegiyu protected the man all the time that he remained under the ocean.
When the waters went down ʼNamxiyalegiyu returned the man to his homeland. The man looked around and saw that he was all alone, so he took the name Namukustolis (Only One in the World). He came to the beach near the mouth of the ʼNa̱mǥis River. Namukustolis was very lonely, so after a time, he snared some birds and transformed them into people. This is how he started the ʼNa̱mǥis tribe. He kept the great sea monster, ʼNamxiyalegiyu, as his tribe’s crest because it was his protector and had saved him during the great flood.