Myth-Folklore Unit: Pacific Northwest

Overview. As the title of Judson's book explains, there are Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest, especially of Washington and Oregon, and the stories come from a variety of different tribes, including the Klamath, Kwakiutl, Shasta, and Nez Perce, among others. You will find creation stories here, along with origin stories, such as why there are no snakes on Mount Takhoma (a.k.a. Mount Rainier). There are many stories about Coyote, the great trickster who once thought he could travel into the sky by riding on the star, and also Raven, giver of gifts and player of tricks. You will meet the creator god Kemush, the mighty Thunder Bird whose wings make the thunder and whose glance is lightning, and Whishpoosh, the monster-beaver. There are ghost stories, too, including a legend of the Memaloose Islands, the mysterious realm of the dead on the Columbia River.

Language. Judson's book is an anthology of stories takes from various anthropological sources, written in a variety of styles. Some of the stories are told in a more traditional oral style, while other stories are edited in a style more like literary prose.

Story Length. Most of the stories here are quite short, and all of them are single-page stories.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: Pacific Northwest. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

  1. How Silver-Fox Created the World
  2. Three Coyote Stories
  3. How Kemush Created the World
  4. How Old Man Above Created the World
  5. How Beaver Stole Fire
  6. How Dog Stole Fire
  7. The Story of Ashish
  8. Chinook Wind
  9. As-Ai-Yahal
  10. The First Totem Pole
  11. Three Raven Stories
  12. Woodrat and Rabbits
  13. Why There Are No Snakes on Takhoma
  1. Cry-Because-He-Had-No-Wife
  2. Two Thunder Bird Stories
  3. An Indian's Vow to the Thunder Gods
  4. Chinook Ghosts
  5. The Memaloose Islands
  6. Origin of the Tribes
  7. How the Ermine Got Its Necklace
  8. Coyote and Grizzly
  9. Coyote and the Dragon
  10. Coyote in the Buffalo Country
  11. Coyote and the Salmon; Coyote and the Fire
  12. Falls of the Willamette
  13. Tallapus and the Cedar