Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

The edited text of Chehalis Stories is a reconciliation of fragments. This text is based on the typescript prepared by Ethel Aginsky but is greatly informed by the following sources:

• Franz Boas’s fourteen Chehalis field notebooks
• Boas’s letters
• Boas’s lexical files...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xx

This volume is a collaborative endeavor that would not have come to be without the contributions of the many people committed to returning these stories to the Chehalis community. Special thanks to Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation Business Committee for encouraging this project, especially Chairmen David Burnett and Don Secena for continued support of the work. Past and current staff of the Culture and Heritage Department, including Joyleen McCrory, Dianne Devlin, Lynn Hoheisel, and Walter Lewis...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-32

Weaving is a vital tradition within the Chehalis community, and Chehalis weavers emphasize the importance of going to the places their ancestors gathered to collect bark, grass, and roots. They spend months preparing this material—stripping, soaking, shredding—until it is ready to be used in the making of something. Each thing they make is connected to the land that Chehalis people have called home for millennia. So, too, the stories in this volume have come to be through many generations of gathering, preparing, and...

Upper Chehalis Stories

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pp. 33-34

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A Story

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pp. 35-78

It is always told how the world and the animals1 were long ago.2 They were people and were not in the right way,3 therefore they were changed by the Chief.4
“Why then,” said x̣ʷəné·x̣ʷəne,5 “Let me go to the ocean.” He gathered little brushes which were hollow inside.6 He cut them short. He strung the brushes on the string and tied them together. He made a necklace. From there he went to the mountains. He was near the mountains. Then he was very...

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x̣ʷəné·x̣ʷəne: A Story

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pp. 79-118

It is told how the world was all the time and the animals long ago. They were the people, only they were not right. Therefore, they were changed by the Chief.
“Why,” said x̣ʷəné·x̣ʷəne, “Let me go to the ocean.” First he gathered little brushes1 that were hollow inside. He cut them short. He threaded the brushes and strung them and tied them together. He made a necklace. He went from there to the mountains. When he was near the mountains he became very hungry. He went out off the trail. It was always night. Then he heard the...

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Bear, Yellow Jacket, and Ant

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pp. 119-123

A long time ago the people lived like animals. Once upon a time one day Bear said, “This day is too short. I want more. I am always hungry in winter. It would be well if we make the night a year. One night should be one winter and a day should be one year. One summer would be one day. Then we should eat blackberries and anything else during the summer. When the winter is here when all the berries are gone, then it would be night all through...

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A Visit to the Skokomish

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pp. 124-136

The Chehalis went to the Skokomish. When the Chehalis arrived they were given to eat. Food was placed before them. They were given to drink. It was some soup that they were given to drink. They sat down in this way, many Chehalis. Then one of the Chehalis said, “I am dying of thirst.” He said, “Could you please give me water to drink?” One of the Skokomish came and gave him water. When he finished drinking one of the Skokomish said, “One...

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Gossip

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p. 137

One kind of gossip was taken. It was bad. He did not want this gossip to be known by anyone. That person said, “It always causes trouble.” He said, “Let me make it so that there is no talking.” He took the bad gossip. He hollowed out a round rock. It was a large rock. He put the bad gossip into it. He put it into the rock and shut it up. After he finished closing it, he stuck pitch on it. He put mud over the place, where he shut it in. Then it was shut in firmly. He finished and went home to his house. This hollow stone, hollow inside, is far...

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Snowbird

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pp. 138-143

In the beginning there were the new people in the world. All the animals were people. In the beginning of the world the people were transformed. All the people were animals. Sometimes they had trouble. They killed one another. After they had finished killing one another they became good and they remained good.
The Children of the Northeast Wind always came and killed the children here. The Children of the Northeast Wind came from above, from the sky....

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Rabbit and Mountain Lion

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pp. 144-149

Rabbit was a gambler. He always gambled with all the monsters. He always won over his enemies because he had a spiritual helper, a strong helper. He always referred to his songs. He always referred to the sky. Therefore he was strong. Even if a monster wanted to kill him he would overcome him because he had strength of heart. He had strength from the sky. Although he was a little person he always won over all kinds of monsters. Rabbit was camping on the bank of the river. He was there for many days after he had killed...

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Bluejay

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pp. 150-152

Bluejay was sick and for many days he lay down. Then he said to Náw because she was his sister, she should step over his face. Náw said, “No, I cannot step over your face.” Bluejay said again, “Step over my face, Náw.” Náw said no. Bluejay said, “I am going to die if you don’t step over me.” Bluejay was grunting. He said, “My breath is almost gone.” Bluejay said again, “Náw, my breath is gone.” Then Náw stepped over his face. Bluejay said, “You are stepping too fast over my face.” Bluejay said again, “Step over my face slowly.”...

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Mink

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pp. 153-156

A Chief lived near the shore of the sea. That Chief had a child. She was a girl. They always wanted to buy this girl to have for a wife. That girl said, “I do not want to marry.” From everywhere great Chiefs came wanting to buy her to be his wife. The girl always said, “I do not want to marry.” Mink came to find out that this girl was there and where she lived. Mink traveled there. When he walked along the girl smelled him and the girl said, “It smells as though Mink was walking along near the house.” The girl would smell him. She said,...

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The Flood

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pp. 157-158

There was a bird1 who married a wife. When it got day in the morning he would never wash his face. He just ate. He was told, “Why don’t you wash your face?” It was night again. Day came in the morning and again he did not wash his face. He was told, “Why don’t you wash your face?” Again it was evening. Day came in the morning and again he did not wash his face and again he was told, “Why don’t you wash your face?” Day came in the morning and again he did not wash his face. He was asked, “Why don’t you ever wash...

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Skunk

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pp. 159-161

There were x̣ʷə́n1 and Skunk. Where they stayed they were hungry. They had nothing to eat. “Oh, younger brother, tie your belt, younger brother. What shall we do when we are hungry? When we are hungry we will call the Spring Salmon.” Then the Skunk tied his belt. Now his stomach blew up. He was getting sick. He went out. Now x̣ʷə́n shouted to Spring Salmon, “My cousins, my younger brother is dying. Come, cousins, my younger brother wants to see you.” “There is noise of an old man who shouted saying that...

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x̣ʷə́n and Raccoon

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pp. 162-163

There were x̣ʷə́n1 and his younger brother. They were hungry for something to eat. “Oh, younger brother, let us work, younger brother.” They went hunting. They found bark and sap. They found it and they went home. They reached there and x̣ʷə́n put it down under his pillow. This he wished. Raccoon did the same with his. Now they went to bed and they went to sleep. Then Raccoon got up. He went to the house and climbed up the roof. He...

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x̣ʷə́n Kills k’ʷə́cx̣ʷe

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pp. 164-167

A long time ago there were monsters in the world: k’ʷə́cx̣ʷe. She, whose name was k’ʷə́cx̣ʷe, was a big woman. She was a good- looking woman. She always killed people. She had a home near the mountains, near a creek. She was a strong woman and tall. She always went fishing. During the summer she went to dig roots, camas, and fern roots. When the berries were ripe in summer she also went to pick berries. The young men were always disappearing. Then two youths said, “In summer let us go to the berry patch on a warm day.” The...

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x̣ʷə́n and Bluejay

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pp. 168-169

Once x̣ʷə́n went along and came to a river. He wanted to kill fish. He set his trap to kill salmon. He said, “When you kill one, call me.” Indeed it killed one. He went and there were just leaves. One time he caught a stick. “Oh, it lied to me.” One time it killed moss. Four times then indeed it caught salmon. x̣ʷə́n made a fire and roasted it on a stick. Then he went to sleep. Before he slept he laid down the milt. He said, “My wife or my children.” Then he slept. When he got up, behold there were women. They ate what he had killed. It...

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S’yawyu’wun

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pp. 170-171

Storytelling has only to tell about the way of the world, the way it was long ago before the Moon was traveling. He was a good person. He was the talker of all the people at that time. His name was S’yawyu’wun.1 He had black clothing on his chest. On his clothing were braids all over. He was shining red, shining like the stars during a frost. On his clothing it was sticking like shining metal, always a reddish color. He was a handsome person, not a very tall man. He was a Chief. He always traveled everywhere. Once he was...

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x̣ʷə́n

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p. 172

When x̣ʷə́n went away from where he had been with Skunk for a long time, he left him. x̣ʷə́n went far up above. At that time the rocks were people. They had life like persons. x̣ʷə́n was traveling along then he came to many rocks near the mountains. These mountains were far from the real people. It was a wild, lonesome country. Then x̣ʷə́n found one stone like a person. He looked at it. He found a little hole through the middle. He found that the Rock was hollow inside like the form of a person.1 He said, “This is a rock but it is a...

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One-Legged Monster

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pp. 173-177

It is told how the world was long ago when the world started. Those who first tell stories, when they die then another one grows up and tells it again, like the one who died. That is the way these stories came to us from the days long ago.
There were monsters in the world. There were some countries that had taboos. One lake was tabooed because it was the house of a monster, on the shore of this lake in the thick woods. The name of the monster was...

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Chipmunk

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p. 178

Chipmunk was foolish. He did not mind his grandmother. Chipmunk was told, “Don’t go to that mountain. There is a monster.” One time Chipmunk was playing. He thought, “Oh, I will go to that mountain.” He came picking blackberries from bushes. Then there was the monster. Chipmunk ran away. He was pursued by the monster. He was bruised by the monster. Therefore Chipmunk now has stripes on his back. Chipmunk came to his grandmother, “I am being pursued by a monster.” “Hide under the bed,” said the...

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Why the Dog Has Marks on His Paws

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p. 179

A little dog was sent to take a message. He was told, “Go quickly. Don’t stay away long. If they want to give you to eat, don’t pay attention to it. If they want to feed you, don’t pay attention to it.” The little dog got there. He gave his message. He was told, “First eat.” He said, “No, I cannot eat. I was told to be quick, and now I go home.” He was told, “Here is camas ready for you to eat.” He really desired the camas. “Oh, it will not be known by my parents that I have taken camas.” The little dog was told to be quick. Because...

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The Flood (The Deluge)

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p. 180

Thrush had a wife, a really pretty woman. He was ugly. He never washed his face or his hands. He was always untidy. He was in the habit of walking. He was always scolded by his wife and parents- in- law. They always told him to wash his face. Only he said all the time, “It’s forbidden for me to wash my face. Something might happen if I should wash my face. Do not let me wash my face.” They always scolded him. Then he said, “Well, let me wash my face. You will always remember that I said so.” The little Thrush just lay down for...

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The Crows

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p. 181

The Crows got ready to pick haws.1 They went to the river to their canoes. Now they paddled. They were working hard. Now they were in a hurry to get there. They perspired on account of their hard work. Then someone shouted to them from inland, “Where are you going, wə́li?” They said to one another, “Maybe he wants to go along. Let us not pay any attention to him.” They were just working hard again. They always heard someone who kept saying, “Where are you going, wə́li?” They did not pay any attention. Suddenly the...

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Untitled Story

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pp. 182-184

In the beginning, people, birds, and all other beasts were there. Some were really people but their ways were different. These people had really different ways. In the whole world there was one woman in one country who got married to another person. They stayed one year and they had children, boys. These children were quite different in their ways. These children were double. They were stuck together in the middle of their back. They were firmly stuck together. They lived in this one country and their children were growing up....

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Beaver and the Woman

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pp. 185-189

Long ago the people had different ways. When a Chief had a daughter and a man came to buy a wife for his son they bought the girl.1 Thus were their rules in this country. This rule was laid down in this country in the beginning of the world. This rule was always used by the Chief of the country and by all the Tribes. It came down to later times. If a Chief had a nice daughter whom he held dear, she was paid for when she got married. The ancient people did not marry for the parents of the first of the girl that got married to them. If they...

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x̣ʷə́n and Crane

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pp. 190-198

x̣ʷə́n1 was living in the mountains alone. For many days he was waiting for Crane. For five days he waited. Then Crane came to where he was living. Crane came to x̣ʷə́n. Crane said, “Are you still here?” x̣ʷə́n said, “I am always here. I am waiting for you. Let us go to get food where there are plenty of fish, to a place where I know we can take them easily because it is shallow near the bank and there are even many rapids there.” Crane said, “That is why I came to get you. Let us go to where you know there are fish. I know how to...

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Raccoon and His Grandmother

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pp. 199-201

Raccoon and his grandmother had a house near a large river. His grandmother always gathered juniper berries, camas, and acorns. And Raccoon always stole from his grandmother. The grandmother did not know who stole her provisions. Raccoon had disappeared and his grandmother went to where they were accustomed to hide the food. She came to where they kept the camas. Raccoon made a noise. He was eating camas. She sneaked up to him from behind and whipped him only two times. Then he got away from her....

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The Five Brothers

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p. 202

A long time ago1 five young men were living together with one mother. Then they heard that there was a desirable place and that whoever went there was never seen again.2 He always stayed away. The youngest of the men said, “I have no fear of that monster. I will go and camp there.” He went and arrived there. Now it was night. He made a fire under a red fir. A little while later then he lay down. He heard someone saying, “Are you still awake, the one who camps there?” After a little while he heard again, “Is the one who camps...

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The Chief and His House

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pp. 203-204

When long ago in this Tribe the three q’ʷay’iɬq’1 lived at L!aua’iql,2 the Chiefs of this Tribe lived there. Thus it was told by the old people, the first Chiefs with whom my grandfather grew up. He called the Chief his own ancestors, who was included among the Chiefs together with the other Chiefs of the q’ʷay’iɬq’. Before the white people came they were many. They had houses everywhere along the banks of the nsúlapš3 from the mouth of the sácapš4 on this side along this line of the country. They had houses along the banks...

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The Way of the q’ʷay’iɬq’

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p. 205

This evening is taboo.1 It brings evil from the west of the land. It brings the shortening of the life of the people. The evening is taboo. When the darkness is brought down the badness of the world is awakened every evening. When it is just evening then the badness of the world begins to walk about. The badness of the world is just like the soul of a person. The evening is taboo. When the evening begins it is taboo for children and old people to go to...

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A Farewell Speech

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p. 206

Honorable ones, first I will talk a few words, when we have finished our work today, when we are looking for good plans today. First I thank you before we dismiss the people. I wish something good would come to this world, to give us light when you go home. While I am talking to you, my people, I am talking from the bottom of my heart. From these I give you my best wishes, my people. I wish that nothing disastrous may come to you when we walk home on this earth. We are looking for the best rule of a Chief in the beginning of...

Source Acknowledgments

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pp. 207-208

Appendix 1

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pp. 209-220

Appendix 2

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pp. 221-237

Appendix 3

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pp. 238-245

Appendix 4

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pp. 246-271

Appendix 5

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pp. 272-288

Notes

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pp. 289-318

References

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pp. 319-326

Index

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pp. 327-347