Category Archives: Myths

The Forest People

First published February 2, 2013. I’ve edited it slightly. Legends of giant hairy humanoids are told around the world. The Oregon coast has its own traditions. Our ‘bigfoot’ is not exactly identical to the popular modern legends. They do agree … Continue reading

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Shuutlits (Forest Fires) and the Willanch Monster

This was first posted October 13 2015. I’ve edited a little from the original. For millennia, coastal Oregon Indian people often set fires to manage the landscape to encourage the growth of desired plants– annually in camas and tarweed (Madia) fields, and … Continue reading

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A Nursery tale in Hanis?

Annie Peterson told to Jacobs this very short (only 10 lines long) ‘story’ that he recorded on page 9 of notebook 99. It doesn’t seem to be a part of a longer story, just an odd stand alone story. So … Continue reading

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A Trickster fragment

When Melville Jacobs worked with Annie Peterson in 1933 and 1934, he got a long saga of five generations of tricksters (which was printed in his “Coos Myth Texts” printed by University of Washington Press in 1940). She also told … Continue reading

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Spooky stories compilation for Halloween 2018

It is that time of year once again for tales of the eerie, strange, or downright horrifying. So for lazy linking, here is the compilation from October 13 2016 that compiles several stories up to that date. Then we have … Continue reading

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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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