Rich in cultural and linguistic information, the traditional stories of the Coast Salish contain the keys to cultural revitalization. This book presents eighteen stories in Snohomish, a dialect of Lushootseed, the language of the Indigenous peoples who live in the Puget Sound basin, as told by the last generation to learn the language as its mother tongue. Many of these stories – or syeyehub – were recorded decades ago, but few were transcribed, and even fewer analyzed. Deep understanding of the structure and logic of these texts has eluded linguists. This landmark study provides this analysis, helping to ensure that the language will live on for future generations.
Foreword / Tulalip Tribes Lushootseed Department
Language / Texts / Transcription and analysis / Transcription practices / Presentation / Acknowledgments /
1 seswixab Martha Williams Lamont
Pheasant and Raven / The Brothers of Pheasant's Wife / Changer / Owl Lives There / Little Diver Is the Wife of Heron / Crow Is Sick (First Telling) / Crow Is Sick (Second Telling) / Basket Ogress / Mink and Tutyika (First Telling) / Mink and Tutyika (Second Telling) / Coyote and His Daughter / Coyote's Son Had Two Wives
2 Elizabeth Charles (Charley) Krise
Lady Louse / First Version / Second Version
3 s?adacut Edward “Hagan” Sam
Black Bear and Ant / Black Bear and Fish Hawk / Coyote and the Big Rock / Mink and Tutyika
4 lalacut Agnes Jules James
The scholarship is impeccable. The volume is essential to stimulating continued examination of the language and the challenges it raises for linguistic theory. It is also crucial as a resource to Lushootseed communities creating strategies for using the language.
Crisca Bierwert, author of Brushed by Cedar, Living by the River: Coast Salish Figures of Power
As excellent examples of a specifically linguistic form of textual presentation, these volumes definitely achieve what they have set out to do. As such, they are not books that one would pick up simply to read the stories. Nevertheless, it is possible to discern that the stories are rich in teachings, [and] that they are beautifully told …
Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins, University of Victoria