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Northwest Coast Stories & Oral Histories

On the Northwest Coast, oral histories are important sources of information that have been passed down by word of mouth through countless generations of family and tribal groups. Sometimes called "myths" or "legends" these stories tell the history of families going back to a time when the ancient people were in touch with supernatural beings. 


Links to External Websites



Adamson, Thomas.
  1934 Folk-Tales of the Coast Salish. Memoirs of the American Folk-Lore Society, Vol. 27. 
Bagley, C.B.
  1930 Indian Myths of the Northwest. Seattle.
Ballard, A. C.
  1939 Mythology of Southern Puget Sound, University of Washington Publications in Anthropology, III: 31-150. 
Barbeau, Charles Marius
  1953 Haida myths illustrated in argillite carvings. Ottawa: Dept. of Resources and Development, National Parks Branch National Museum of Canada.
  1961 Tsimsyan myths. Ottawa: Dept. of Northern Affairs and National Resources, National Museum of Canada.
Boas, Franz
  1900 The Mythology of the Bella Coola. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. 2. 
  1901 Kathlamet Texts. Bulletin 26, Bureau of American Ethnology. 
  1916 Tsimshian Mythology. Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology 31. 
  1917 Folk-Tales of Salishan and Sahaptin Tribes. Memoirs of the American Folk-Lore Society 11.
  1932 Bella Bella Tales. Memoirs of the American Folk-Lore Society, vol. 25. 
  1935 Kwakiutl Tales. Columbia University Contributions to Anthropology, vol. 2, vol. 26. New York: Columbia University Press;1910. 
Bruseth, Nels
  1977 Indian Stories and Legends of the Stillaguamish, Sauks and Allied Tribes, Fairfield: Ye Galleon Press. 
Codere, Helen.
  1948 "The Swai'xwe Myth of the Middle Fraser River," Journal of American Folklore 61: 239. 
Dauenhauer, Nora Marks and Richard Dauenhouer
  1987 Haa Shuká, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives. Seattle and Juneau: University of Washington Press and Sealaska Heritage Foundation.
  1990  Haa Tuwuná;agu Yís, for Healing Our Spirit: Tlingit Oratory. Seattle and Juneau: University of Washington Press and Sealaska Heritage Foundation.
  1994 Haa Kusteeyí, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories. Seattle and Juneau: University of Washington Press and Sealaska Heritage Foundation.
Eastman, Carol M. and Elizabeth A. Edwards
  1991 Gyaehlingaay: Traditions, Tales and Images of the Kaigani Haida, Traditional Stories told by Lillian Pettviel and other Haida Elders. Seattle: Burke Museum.
Golder, F.A.
  1907 "Tlingit Myths," Journal of American Folklore vol. 20. 
Haeberlin, Herman.
  1924  "Mythology of Puget Sound," Journal of American Folklore, vol. 37. 
Hilbert, Vi.
  1980 Huboo: Lushootseed Literature in English. Seattle: privately printed. 
  1985 Haboo: Native American Stories from Puget Sound. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 
  1995 Aunt Susie Sampson Peter: The Wisdom of a Skagit Elder. Seattle: Lushootseed Press.
  1996 Lady Louse Lived There. Seattle: Lushootseed Press.
Jacobs, M.
  1959 "Clakamas Chinook Texts," International Journal of American Linguistics, 2 vols. 
Lawrence, Erma
  1975 Xaadas Gutilaa Gyaahlangaay: Haida Stories and History. Ketchikan: Society for the Preservation of Haida Language and Literature.
Reid, Bill
  1980 The Haida Legend of The Raven and the First Humans. Museum Note No. 8, Vancouver: UBC Museum of Anthropology. 
Reid, Bill and Robert Bringhurst.
  1984 The Raven Steals the Light. Vancouver; Toronto and Seattle: Doublas and McIntyre and University of Washington Press. 
Sapir, Edward.
  1909 Wishram Texts. Publications of the American Ethnological Society, vol. 2. Leiden. 
Swanton, John
  1905 Haida Texts and Myths, Skidegate Dialect. New York: Bureau of American Ethnology.
  1909 Tlingit Myths and Texts. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 39; Washington, D.C. 
Swanton, John and Franz Boas.
  1912 Haida Songs and Tsimshian Texts. American Ethnological Society.