The Orca (killer whale) was a common motif in the art of the Northwest Coast peoples. Orca were the subject of countless stories and legends. One story held that a whale would sometimes capture a canoe and drag it and the people aboard down to an underwater Village of the Whales. These people were then transformed into orca themselves. The Haida believed that orcas seen near villages were these drowned people trying to communicate with the villagers.