Salish Legends


Salish legends include the Kalispel, Spokane, Flathead, and Coeur D’Alene Indians. Coyote - The trickster figure of the Kalispel, Spokane, and Flathead Salish legends. Coyote is foolish and boastful. Sories about him are often humorous in nature; however, he is a well-meaning creature who usually acts for the good of humankind. Coyote frequently dies in the course of his adventures, often in humorous ways, but each time his patient friend Fox (by some accounts his brother) restores him to life. Giants - There are many giants in the Salish legends. Wild Men or Stick Indians -A race of tall Indians, called "wild" or "stick" Indians, was said to wander through the forests. In general conversation they were referred to as tsiatko although another term, steta'l, from ta'l, spear, could also be applied to them. Also called Seatco. Similar to the modern day Big Foot. Occasionally, they stole children or adolescents and carried them off to act as wives or as slaves. Seatco tales were used to scare disobedient children.
 

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Giants and Tree Men

Giants were formerly common in Coeur d’Alene country. They had a very strong odor, like the odor of burning horn. Their faces were black–some say they were painted black, and the giants were taller than the highest tipis. When they saw a single tipi or lodge in a place, they would crawl up to it, rise, and look down the smoke hole. If several lodges were together, the giants were not so bold.

Tah-tah-kle’-ah (Owl-Woman Monster)

Yakama Indian William Charley told this story to McWhorter about the Tah-tah kle’ -ah (Owl-Woman-Monster) in 1918. Among the Okanogans she is called Sne-nah, “Owl Women”. 

“Before the tribes lived peaceably in this country, before the last creation, there were certain people who ate Indians whenever they could get them. They preferred and hunted children, as better eating.

Tsiatko and Seatco

A race of tall Indians, called “wild” or “stick” Indians, was said to wander through the forests. In general conversation they were referred to as tsiatko although another term, steta’l, from ta’l, spear, could also be applied to them.

Wild Man