Author Archives: shichils

About shichils

Just sharing some fun on language

Libby, or HeldƏnita, a Milluk woman

Photo: Left, Mike Tinalon or perhaps Quinlin; right, Heldoniita/Libby (Milluk). Photo date unknown; some time in 1880s or 1890s. Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephen Beckham via Flanagan family Some may remember that Coalbank Slough was once called Libby Slough, and … Continue reading

Posted in Historical photos, History | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Thing That Hollers

Nok’élehe: the-person-that-halloos, the hollerer, the thing that hollers. The word is the same in both Hanis and Milluk, based on the verb k’el- or k’al-; to holler, to yell. The story of the nok’élehe might be one of the most-told … Continue reading

Posted in Myths | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Stealing of Fire and Water”

Many tribes in the west have stories about how the First People had to acquire fire from a person or village of persons who held the only fire. Often, but not always, the hero is Coyote or another Trickster. There … Continue reading

Posted in Myths | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Night Fishing

Sketch by William Wells, 1855; published in 1856 in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. Image Library of Congress. The image above, sketched in 1855 by a visitor to Coos Bay, depicts night fishing on the bay. You might look at that … Continue reading

Posted in Historical photos, Traditional customs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Dear Old Lady”: the tale of the suffix -sha

Leo Frachtenberg worked with Hanis speaker Jim Buchanan in 1909. As part of his work, he later published a grammar of Hanis. In it he noted a suffix -sha that is unusual in that unlike any other suffix in the … Continue reading

Posted in Myths, Vocabulary comparisons, vocabulary words | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Five Shadows: a story of dread, murder, cannibalism and a hero-child

Linguist Leo Frachtenberg came to Oregon just over a century ago, and worked with speakers of Hanis (Jim Buchanan, Frank Drew, Tom Hollis), Lower Umpqua/Siuslaw (Louisa and William Smith) and Alsea (William Smith). One of the stories he got was … Continue reading

Posted in Myths | Tagged , | Leave a comment


As everyone knows by now, Monday is the day there will be a solar eclipse in North America. At any one place on earth, solar eclipses are much more uncommon than lunar eclipses. Throughout human history, many cultures have thought … Continue reading

Posted in History, Myths, Traditional customs | Tagged | 1 Comment