Residence: Palm Desert, California
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/16/19
Primary Language: English
Collector: Can you tell me about the Ogopogo?
HK: Well, at the like I visit in the summer, Lake Kelowna, there is a legend that a sea serpent just like the Lochness monster lives in the lake there.
Collector: What is the Ogopogo like?
HK: It’s supposedly like huge green sea serpent that lives at the bottom of the lake. It’s pretty much just like the Loch
Ness Monster but the Canadian version.
Collector: Is this a common legend there?
HK: Yeah everyone that goes to Kelowna or lives there knows all about the Ogopogo.
Collector: Do you believe that this Ogopogo actually is real and lives in the lake? Do the people of Kelowna believe in the Ogopogo?
HK: I don’t believe it anymore but as a young child I was very scared of it and wouldn’t ever want to go into the water. Yeah, a lot of people do believe in it people have claimed to see it and it is a pretty large fixture in the community. There are even signs referencing it and statues of the Ogopogo.
Collector: When were you first introduced to this legend and how was it presented to you?
HK: The first time I heard of the Ogopogo was one summer when I first visited the lake with my parents and grandparents when I was seven years old. My grandfather was telling me and my sister stories by the fire one night. He told us how he had been coming to the Lake Kelowna since he was a kid and the legend had always been around. He said that the serpent would come out of the water every few years and lived at the bottom of the lake feeding on the deep swimmers and fish. After hearing that story for him I began to see and hear references of the Ogopogo all over town. I really wish he didn’t tell us because, me and my sister were scared of the lake for years after, even though we would have heard about it somewhere else eventually.
Collector: How has your understanding and belief in the legend changed over time?
HK: I just don’t really believe it in anymore. I did as a kid and a lot of kids there do, but as I’ve gotten older and never have actually seen it I kinda just stopped worrying about it or believing it. Also, since its kinda a playful part of the community like the statues and signs around town, it just seems more like a spooky story to have fun with rather than anything real.
Context: My informant is an eighteen-year-old freshman student at USC. He was born and raised solely in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada until age fifteen then moved to Palm Desert, California. Even since living in California, my informant has still spent around a month every summer at Lake Kelowna. His performance of explaining this legend to me was done at the Sigma Chi fraternity house at USC.
Analysis: I thought this legend of the Ogopogo to be a very fascinating one. It strikes me as peculiar and interesting that even though it is very similar to the legend of the Lochness Monster, that I had never heard of it even though Lake Kelowna is much closer to America and where I have spent my life. I also find it fascinating that the legend seems to be such a cultural characteristic of Lake Kelowna. Not only is it just something everyone seems to be aware of there,0 but they market it and have statues of it.