Category Archives: Myths

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

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“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

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“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

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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

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Eclipses

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

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Stars

    Sorry I have been so busy this summer I haven’t had time or energy to research posts here. Hopefully I can start writing at least semi-regularly again soon. In the meantime, here is a slightly-modified reprint of an … Continue reading

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Hero Grandmothers

I have been working on collecting examples of the Coos (Hanis and Milluk both) suffix -sha. This suffix is unusual in that it is the only one I know of that attaches to one and ONLY one word – huumik’, … Continue reading

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