Tag Archives: Alsea

Does the Alsea World Transformer S’uuku have a Siuslaw name?

Margin notes in old field notebooks occasionally offer important insights into the meaning of a word or story, and sometimes these notes raise questions. I found one of these puzzling questions completely by accident while looking for the field notes … Continue reading

Posted in Myths | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Sea Serpents

Sea Serpents appear in stories around the world – and not only in the ocean but in large lakes as well, perhaps most famously of contemporary ‘lake monster’ stories is “Nessie” of Loch Ness. All along the Pacific Northwest coast, … Continue reading

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

Tattooing of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw

Tattooing was a traditional art in many Native American communities, and in recent years many tribes have been reviving these customs. I’ll focus primarily on Coos Bay, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw (CLUS) tattoos in this post, along with what information … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Dentalium are white, tusk shaped shells that have been valued as money and beads for millenia among Native people. The usual dentalium people preferred in Oregon was a species known as Dentalium pretiosum. They are a kind of snail, living … Continue reading

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

Scholfield writes about Siuslaw River, May 1854

Nathan Scholfield, and his son Socrates, were early settlers of Umpqua City. They came from Norwich, Connecticut.  This is the family that Scholfield creek on the Umpqua River is named for. Nathan Scholfield did a few surveys in the Umpqua … Continue reading

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

Cape Perpetua

Photo courtesy  US Forest Service Cape Perpetua is such a beautiful place on the central coast.  And even though it is in Alsea country, it has meaning for our tribes too, when many CLUS people were removed to Yachats.  While … Continue reading

Posted in toponyms | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Comparing Alsea, Siuslaw, Hanis, Milluk #s

I’ve been working, off and on, on comparing St Clair’s list of 200+ Milluk and Hanis words (that he got in 1903 from work with Jim Buchanan, Frank Drew and George Barney). One part of the vocabulary where there is … Continue reading

Posted in Vocabulary comparisons, vocabulary words | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Little People

I don’t think I’ve written about ‘the little people’ on the blog before.  The term ‘little people’ refers to mythological gnome or dwarf-like people and are apparently quite common to many cultures around the world.  In the Coos language, the … Continue reading

Posted in Myths | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Another version of the Grizzly Bear story

So a couple of months ago I wrote about Hltuuwis (Heceta Head) and the Siuslaw and Alsea stories about it.  I found yet another Alsea version of the story in Harrington’s notes – this one told by Alsea man John … Continue reading

Posted in Myths | Tagged | 2 Comments

Some more Coos names for the Yachats region

When the Coos Bay & Lower Umpqua people were removed to Yachats they either learned Alsea place names for landmarks, or more often, coined their own names for landmarks. In the last post we already discussed the Coos name for … Continue reading

Posted in toponyms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment