Since it came out in the current newsletter that the tribes have acquired lands near Fossil Point, I thought I’d share a story Annie Miner Peterson told about the fossils around Fossil Point. It was printed in Melville Jacobs’ Coos Narrative and Ethnologic Texts, pages 69-79:
Since the commencement of the land, since that time the people have seen those wonderful rocks. All kinds of things are imbedded there, just as if all those kinds of things were gathered together there.
Bones and people were (as if) gathered there, some of them in the very way in which people cook. Children were there also like that, as if in baby baskets. Their food was as if standing against the walls, their cooking stood by the fire.
There were some dogs lying there like that, some other dogs were standing up. And some people were as if lying out in the sun, some others were as if about to commence eating. That is the way it appeared, when they were fixed there.
The people had turned to rock, when they were there. Their canoes were beached there. Many of their canoes had some things in them. Some had paddles athwart them, others had some of their paddles hanging from the sides.
That is what the people said. “Maybe they had eaten something such as a dangerous poison fish. That dangerous poison fish was the only thing that caused death, when that sort of thing was eaten. Then they just got stuck to it” (to this ogre fish).
That is what the people said. “That is what they must have eaten. That is why they got attached there from that time on.” However they really did not know that it was indeed that, that had explained it in that manner, when they spoke about the people who had become kind of dangerous poison fish. The father of the people was the one who no longer wanted that sort of thing (poison fish), because that old man had tried to kill him with that sort of thing. That is why the father of the people did not want it. Since that time there are no more of those poison fish.”
The people say that. That is why so many people adhered there with the rocks. To the people it was wonderful to see all those things stuck there, just as if melted there. That is the way the people spoke of it.
Now that is all I know of that.