Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies

Front Cover
University of Oklahoma Press, 1966 - Social Science - 350 pages

The stories in this unusual collection come from the twelve tribes of Indians that, in historic times, have lived in the present states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. They include myths, legends, personal narratives, and historical traditions preserved by highly respected storytellers, and reveal much about the lives and beliefs of the early Indians.

The sections of the book are arranged to represent Indians of six linguistic groups: Nez Percés; Flatheads, Kalispels (or Pend d’Oreilles), and Coeur d’Alênes(Skitswish);  Kutenais; Shoshonis and Bannocks; Arapahoes, Gros Ventres, and Blackfeet; and Crows and Assiniboines. Although attention is focused on Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, the factual introductions to the various sections cover a larger—from the Cascade Range of western Washington and Oregon almost to the Mississippi River. Because the Sioux frequently came into Montana and Wyoming to make war and to hunt buffalo, two of their landscape legends are included.

These are the stories which used to be told around winter fires for the entertainment and instruction of the Indian family. The simplicity of style characterizing the narrations is truly reflective of their origins in oral literature.

Mythology is related to history in this volume, which belongs in any library or home where instruction is intended to delight.

 

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Contents

THE NEZ PERCÉS
20
The Water Mysteries in Waha Lake
45
The Help of the Spirits
51
Lewis and Clark among the Nez Percés
57
THE FLATHEADS
61
The Origin of Death Kalispel
75
THE KUTENAIS
137
Creation of the World Bannock
172
How Elder Brother Helped
291
The Man Who Turned Into a Monster Assiniboine
297
Red Plume and the Medicine Wheel Crow
303
The Sun the White Wolf and the Buffalo Crow
310
Long Hair Great Medicine Man of the Crows Crow
318
Source Notes
325
Bibliography
332
100
345

THE ARAPAHOS
214
THE CROWS
283

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About the author (1966)

Ella E. Clark is also the author of Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest (Berkeley, 1958) and Indian Legends of Canada (Toronto, 1960). She holds degrees from Northwestern University and is professor emeritus of English in Washington State University.

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