To the Nimiipu, water was the strongest spiritual substance. Note that the snake that leaves the Snake River here at Buffalo Eddy, never arrives at the (older) shamanic figure.
That’s because it’s not a character in a narrative. It’s a representation of potentiality — or tension, if you will. It is water. The tension between the old shamanic figure and the newer (but still old) snake, or water figure, is a new thing, something in the air. It is there the people are, hidden and revealed between action and stasis.