Snuneymuxw looms were important household tools. Looms were used to make blankets that were useful to the family and added to the wealth of the community, so loom uprights often featured beautiful carvings. The loom featured here is both richly carved and painted with figures of living creatures that look out to either side of where the blanket would be created. The carvings are flat on the back, and do not rely on many textures or details, but they are very clear in the way they tell their own story.
The shorter of the two uprights is carved with a zoomorphic or animal figure of a stout, round frog, painted a shiny green. He is creeping down towards the post holes. In the Hul'q'umin'um' language, the word for Spring is wakkis, the time when the frog comes out. The frogs hatch and croak in the rains of Spring, marking an end to the season of longhouse ceremonies. The frog is a symbol of the return of life and resources outside. Above the frog is a pair of green animals, their heads raised towards the sky.
Painted in both rich green and black, the second, taller upright features an anthropomorphic figure of a person. This man has large ears, a green face, and a black crop of hair. He stands with his arms open above a winged or finned creature with a green snout, which is nailed to the upright. Wilkes James told the story of two wolves who arrived on the Nanaimo River, shed their skins and became men. However, in most of the Snuneymuxw stories, the Snuneymuxw ancestors arrive at the Nanaimo River Estuary, marry and have children, all in their human forms. They do not transform from animals. Rather, people are transformed into other animals, such as wolves, bears, and orcas, considered brothers by the Snuneymuxw. People can also become features of the landscape, such as rocks.