Indian Mythology | Stillaguamish Mythology

Stillaguamish Stories



From Skabalko at Arlington to Klatsko (Jim Creek) on the Achalitch (South Fork) was the home of the Achalitchamish (people). They hunted and fished over a lot of good country. The last well known man of this tribe was Stiabalth, son of Stadahahlt. At Klatsko at one time lived a woman who became the great, great grandmother of nearly all the people of the Stolouck and Achalitch. A great hunter of Klatsko traveled all the way to Chemacum before he found the right one. He brought her home and she was honored by his tribe.

Chef-Eth, The Kingfisher

Along the river there was a camp where lived many birds. They lived on land and in the trees, and eat berries, bugs, and worms. Sometimes they talked about others who did not live as they did, and said things about them. About Kingfisher they said: "He is a careless bird, flying away from home all the time. He surely can't take care of his family." One day- Kingfisher heard this and he stopped and said: "You only feed yourself; see, I bring home a fish every day for my wife and family, and never have trouble at home. That is my way of living."

Fish Stories
S'beau (The Fox) and Su-Adu (The Salmon)

Spose you like to hear something about fish. Yes, Indian all over this whulge (Sound) country, he know much about fish. Some way this river people all over. S'Beau, hees best friend for Su-adu; he make bargain with salmon this way: He run up rivers and creeks all the time and look for place salmon can stay when he lay eggs. When salmon come up S'Beau he maybe see salmon run in bad place where he will get struck and die if water go down. S'Beau he run out and chase salmon and holler: "Hey, you, come out of there quick; this no good place for you." For this S'Beau get one nice fish every day.

Goat and Deer
(Shweetlai and Quaguilch)

Once goat was brown and deer was white. They both had much trouble avoiding their enemies, because brown goat on white snow could be so easily seen, also white deer in dark woods.
One day they met and talked over a plan to make it better for both. Both all of a sudden said: "Suppose we try to trade coats and see how it goes." They did and after that they had very little trouble in avoiding their enemies. Goat was hard to see near gray rocks or white snow, and deer was hard to see in the woods.

Indian Justice

The Indian had no law books. He had the unwritten law. It worked. For instance a man accused of adultery was tried by members of the tribe and if found guilty, he was publicly flogged. If the crime was, repeated he was given a heavier dose and the third time banished.

The methods of dealing with law violators varied greatly among the different tribes.

Jid-Was and Dsa-kokd-suk

Up near Big Lake in Skagit county stand the big rocks. They can be seen from the highway. Have you experienced a strange feeling when you passed them? Well this is why.

They are the soul thieves Jid-was the largest, Dsa-kokd-suk, the next in size, and a couple of smaller ones.

These rocks, malicious and crafty, stood in waiting to rob Indians of their souls. If man or woman were not in good health when they passed these rocks, they were in grave danger. Now and then, perhaps once in 5 years, some person would turn up crazy. Some would all of sudden run wild, dash right into the brush and stop all worn out. Others would jump around and sing senseless songs. Those who saw them knew what had happened, and immediately sent for the best tamanois (doctor) who would go to the rocks to recapture the victim's soul.

It tools extreme skill and cunning to do this, because the rocks began throwing the souls back and forth between them. But a good doctor of strong tamanois can do wonders.

When the soul was brought back and entered its owner the dementia disappeared.

Many an Indian feeling week or timid traveled a long ways around to avoid the rocks.

Those who knew best the power of the rocky were the Tsil-ahlibs, the tribe of the Hatchu (Lakes).

Ku-kwil Khaedib

About a mile above Hat Slough (To Toluqe) lived Ku-kwil Khaedib, a big man in councils, well known and respected among his people. From the To Toluque country to Toll Dachub (the Pilchuck) he and his family could fish, hunt and pick berries without interfering with any one's else rights. His house (Alhal) was big and long, and could shelter many people, which was quite necessary because there were held councils and many men came to talk over important matters together. Around the big house lived many relatives in small houses. Along the river banks and across country were trails. The camps were not far apart and runners could run from one camp to the other in relays to carry news, or warn each other in case of danger.

Ku-kwil Khaedib had many blankets and many canoes. Tlai's (shovelnose) for the river and Stie Wathl for the Whinge (Sound). He, with crews of paddlers, made long journeys on the Sound. One of his chief assistants on these journeys was his nephew, Da-quashkid (Splitlip Jim), at that time a young man. They made trips to Seattle and Nishqually. On these trips they heard of and attended the big potlatches up and down the Sound, and extended invitations to their own.

At Port Susan, near Warm Beach, were held at long intervals potlatches or Sque-ques, lasting several days, with feasting, barbecue and clambake, singing, dancing and merry-making. Usually some of the wealthiest people would bring a lot of goods to give away, and with due ceremony would give away canoes, blankets and other valuables from the potlatch pile. Those who gave the most were regarded as the most honorable people.

Ku-kwil Khaedib gave much, and for this and other good qualities was for many years big man of the Stoluckquamish.

Stillaguamish Mythology

This site includes some historical materials that may imply negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record and should not be interpreted to mean that the WebMasters in any way endorse the stereotypes implied .

Indian Stories and Legends of the Stillaguamish and Allied Tribes



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