Edited by M. Terry Thompson and Steven M. Egesdal
University of Nebraska Press
Cover: Salmon Homecoming by Susan Point
The rich storytelling traditions of Salish-speaking peoples in the Pacific Northwest of North America are showcased in this anthology of story, legend, song, and oratory. From the Bitterroot Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, Salish-speaking communities such as the Bella Coola, Shuswap, Tillamook, Quinault, Colville-Okanagan, Coeur d’Alene, and Flathead have always been guided and inspired by the stories of previous generations. Many of the most influential and powerful of those tales appear in this volume.
Salish Myths and Legends features an array of Trickster stories centered on Coyote, Mink, and other memorable characters, as well as stories of the frightening Basket Ogress, accounts of otherworldly journeys, classic epic cycles such as South Wind’s Journeys and the Bluejay Cycle, tales of such legendary animals as Beaver and Lady Louse from the beginning of time, and stories that explain why things are the way they are. The anthology also includes humorous traditional tales, speeches, and fascinating stories of encounters with whites, including “Circling Raven and the Jesuits.”
Translated by leading scholars working in close collaboration with Salish storytellers, these stories are certain to entertain and provoke, vividly testifying to the enduring power of storytelling in Native communities.