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Introduction

The Stories, Myths and Texts of the Clatsop, Cathlamet, Multnomah, and Clackamas Peoples of the Lower Columbia River, Oregon and Washington

Oregon map of Chinookan, Takelman-Kalapuyan, Athabascan and Salish

Map credit: Atlas of Oregon (2nd ed.) University of Oregon Press, 2001.

Introduction

This bibliography lists the known published literature of the Chinook peoples of the Lower Columbia River. The Chinook were renowned traders and fishermen who lived in dense settlements along the lower reaches of the Columbia River, from the Gorge of the Cascade Mountains westward to the Pacific. The Chinook were amongst the wealthiest people in the Pacific Northwest, by virtue of their control of trade routes and prized fishing locations along the river. Their oral literature was equally rich, and their mythical pantheon was populated by powerful spirit and animal figures, ghosts, and ancestors. Their language forms one of the foundations of Chinuk Wawa. Most Chinook stories were recorded by the renowned anthropologist Melville Jacobs in the late '20s from a remarkable lady, Victoria Howard.

Mrs. Howard sitting on wooden box

Mrs Howard in 1919
Photo and text courtesy Henry Zenk, Oregon Encyclopedia

"Victoria (Wishikin) Wacheno Howard was the teller of Clackamas Chinook narratives and traditions transcribed by anthropologist Melville Jacobs and published by him as Clackamas Chinook Texts (1958-1959), one of the richest records of the indigenous northwest Oregon storytelling art. While Jacobs referred to her invariably as “a Clackamas Chinook,” Howard’s origins were more complicated, though not unusually so for the tribally and linguistically diverse reservation community into which she was born and spent most of her life.... Clackamas is also the name linguists apply to the Upper Chinook dialects of the lower Willamette River and the Clackamas River.

Victoria’s grandmother, waġáyuɬən spoke the dialect used at Willamette Falls. Her mother-in-law, wásusgani (or Charlotte), though originally from a Chinookan-speaking group indigenous to the Cascades of the Columbia River, had lived since a young woman among speakers of her husband’s Clackamas River dialect. Victoria also spoke the Molalla language, though not as fluently as she spoke Clackamas; and by her own account, she had grown up speaking Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon), the original common language of the Grand Ronde Reservation. It is to her “clear English,” as Jacobs characterized it, that we owe not only his field translations of her Clackamas dictations but also a great deal of supplementary information he recorded on northwest Oregon indigenous cultures and history. The multitribal and multilingual complexity illustrated by her life's story was more the norm than the exception on the Grand Ronde Reservation during the late nineteenth century.

Professor Jacobs dedicated much of his working career to documenting the endangered indigenous languages and cultures of western Oregon. He was first led to Victoria Howard in hopes of documenting the Molalla language, but on discovering that she was much more fluent in Clackamas, he commenced to transcribe traditional narratives and ethnographic and historical descriptions in that language (1929-1930). During the same sessions, he sampled her knowledge of Chinuk Wawa and made audio recordings of her extensive repertoire of indigenous songs."

Melville Jacobs next to car interviewing a Native American woman
Melville Jacobs with his mobile recording gear

 

The Chinook who lived along the Lower Columbia River were:

 the tlacep or Clatsop people at the mouth of the River

 the Shoalwater Chinook around Willapa Bay

 the waqaiqam or Wahkiakum on the lower north bank of the river

 the galamat or Kathlamet people on the lower south bank of the river

 the malnumax or Multnomah people in Sauvie Island and the Portland Basin

 the gitlakimas or Clackamas people along the Clackamas and Sandy River

Bibliography of Chinook Stories

blue pin Chinuk Wawa: Kakwa Nsayka Ulman-tilixam Laska Munk-kemteks Nsayka = As Our Elders Teach Us to Speak It. 2012. Print.

blue pin “The Animal People Hold a Medicine Chant (Chinook).” Nihancan’s Feast of Beaver: Animal Tales of the North American Indians. Ed. Edward Lavitt and Robert E. McDowell. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1990. Print.

blue pin “Badger and Coyote Were Neighbors (Clackamas Chinook).” Traditional Literatures of the American Indian: Texts and Interpretations. Ed. Karl Kroeber. Lincoln: U of Nebraska, 1981. Print.

blue pin “Blue Jay Visits Ghost Town (Chinook).” American Indian Myths and Legends. Ed. Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz. New York: Pantheon, 1984. Print.

blue pin “Bluejay Visits the Ghosts (Clatsop Chinook).” The Punishment of the Stingy and Other Stories. Ed. George B. Grinnell. Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press, 1982. Print.

blue pin “Bluejay the Imitator (Clatsop Chinook).” The Punishment of the Stingy and Other Stories. Ed. George B. Grinnell. Ed. Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press, 1982. Print.

blue pin Boas, Franz. “Chinook Songs.” Journal of American Folklore 1 (1888): 220-226. Print.

blue pin Boas, Franz. “Kathlamet Texts.” A Franz Boas Reader: The Shaping of American Anthropology, 1883-1911. Ed. George W. Stocking. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1974. 116-122. Print.

blue pin Boas, Franz. Chinook Texts. Washington: GPO, 1894. 278p. Print.

blue pin Boas, Franz. Kathlamet Texts. Washington: GPO, 1901. 261p. Print.

blue pin “Chinook Ghosts.” Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest. Ed. Katharine B. Judson. Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1910. Print.

blue pin “Coyote and the Cedar Tree (Clackamas Chinook).” Northwest Passages: A Literary Anthology of the Pacific Northwest. Ed. Bruce Barcott. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 1994. Print.

blue pin Coyote Was Going There: Indian Literature of the Oregon Country. Ed. Jarold W. Ramsey. Seattle: U of Washington Press, 1977. 295p. Print.

blue pin “The First European Ship Comes To Clatsop Country.” Varieties of Hope: An Anthology of Oregon ProseEd. Gordon B. Dodds. Corvallis: Oregon State UP, 1993. Print.

blue pin “The Gift of the Totems (Kathlamet Chinook).” American Indian Tales and Legends. Ed. Vladimir Hulpach. London: Paul Hamlyn, 1965. Print.

blue pin “Grizzly Woman Began to Kill People (Clackamas Chinook).” Traditional Literatures of the American Indian: Texts and Interpretations. Ed. Karl Kroeber. Lincoln: U of Nebraska, 1981. Print.

blue pin Howard, Victoria. “Awl and Her Son’s Son.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 3.1 (1991): 8-12. Print.

blue pin Howard, Victoria. “Five Short Narratives.” Alcheringa 3 (1977): 2-7. Print.

blue pin Howard, Victoria. “Grizzly Woman Killed People.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 3.1 (1991): 13-18. Print.

blue pin Howard, Victoria. Moons: Four Short Verses in Clackamas and English. Portland: Irish Setter, nd. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “A Pattern of Verbal Irony in Chinookan.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 65 (1987): 97-110. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “A Theory of Irony and a Chinookan Pattern of Verbal Exchange.” The Pragmatic Perspective: Selected Papers from the 1985 International Pragmatics Conference. Ed. Jef Verschueren. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1987. 293-338. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “Myth and Tale Titles of the Lower Chinook.” Journal of American Folklore    72 (1959): 139-145. Rpt. in In Vain I Tried to Tell You’: Essays in Native American EthnopoeticsPhiladelphia: U of Pennsylvania Press, 1981. 263-273. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “Poetic Structure of a Chinook Text.” Essays in Honor of Charles F. Hockett. Ed. Frederick B. Agard et al. Leiden, Amsterdam: E. J. Brill, 1983. 507-525. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “Reading Clackamas Texts.” Traditional Literatures of the American Indian: Texts and Interpretations. Ed. Karl Kroeber. Lincoln: U of Nebraska, 1981. 117-159. Rpt. in ‘In Vain I Tried to Tell You’: Essays in Native American Ethnopoetics. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania Press, 1981. 342-381. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “Seal and Her Younger Brother Lived Here.” Hermes July 1991: 132-133. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “The Earliest Clackamas Text.” International Journal of American Linguistics 50 (1984): 358-383. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “The ‘Wife’ Who ‘Goes Out’ Like a Man: Reinterpretation of a Clackamas Chinook Myth.” Social Science Information 7.3 (1968): 173-199. Rpt. in In Vain I Tried to Tell You’: Essays in Native American Ethnopoetics. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania Press, 1981. 274-308. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “Verse Analysis of a Kathlamet Chinook Text Preserved by Franz Boas: Charles Cultee’s ‘Southwest Wind’s Myth’.” Aims and Prospects of Semiotics: Essays in Honor of Algirdas Julien GreimasEd. Herman Parret and Hans George Ruprecht. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins, 1985. 953-978. Print.

blue pin Hymes, Dell H. “Victoria Howard’s Gitskux and His Older Brother: A Clackamas Chinook Myth.” Smoothing the Ground: Essays on Native American Oral Literature. Ed. Brian Swann. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1983. 129-170. Print.

blue pin Jacobs, Melville. “Humor and Social Structure in an Oral Literature.” Culture in History: Essays in Honor of Paul Radin. Ed. Stanley Diamond. New York: Columbia UP, 1960. 181-189. Print.

blue pin Jacobs, Melville. “Psychological Inferences from a Chinook Myth.” Journal of American Folklore 65 (1952): 121-137. Print.

blue pin Jacobs, Melville. Clackamas Chinook Texts. Bloomington: U of Indiana, 1959. 663p. Print.

blue pin Jacobs, Melville. The Content and Style of an Oral Literature: Clackamas Chinook Myths and TalesChicago: U of Chicago Press, 1959. 285p. Print.

blue pin Jacobs, Melville. The People Are Coming Soon: Analyses of Clackamas Chinook Myths and TalesSeattle: U of Washington Press, 1960. 359p. Print.

blue pin Martin, Rafe, and David Shannon. The Boy Who Lived with the Seals. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1993. 32p. Print.

blue pin Milner, Clyde A. , ed. “A Chinook Story, Recorded in 1894.” Major Problems in the History of the American West: Documents and Essays. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1989. 37-38. Print.

blue pin Nichols, William. “Badger and Coyote Were Neighbors: Comic Reconciliation in a Clackamas Chinook Myth.” Smoothing the Ground: Essays on Native American Oral Literature. Ed. Brian Swann. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1983. 301-308. Print.

blue pin “Origin of the Tribes (Chinook).” Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest. Ed. Katharine B. Judson. Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1910. Print.

blue pin “The Punishment of the Stingy (Clatsop Chinook).” The Punishment of the Stingy and Other Stories. Ed. George B. Grinnell. Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press, 1982. Print.

blue pin Ramsey, Jarold W. “The Wife Who Goes Out Like a Man, Comes Back as a Hero: The Art of Two Oregon Indian Narratives.” PMLA 92 (1977): 9-18. Rpt. in Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: A Reader. Ed. Elliott Oring. Logan: Utah State UP, 1989. 209-223. Print.

blue pin Scharbach, Alexander. “Aspects of Existentialism in Clackamas Chinook Myths.” Journal of American Folklore 75 (1962): 15-22. Print.

blue pin Seaburg, William R., and Pamela T. Amoss , eds. Badger and Coyote Were Neighbors: Melville Jacobs on Northwest Indian Myths and Tales. Corvallis: Oregon State UP, 2000. 310p. Print.

blue pin “Seal and Her Younger Brother Lived There (Clackamas Chinook).” Coming to Light: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America. Ed. Brian Swann. New York: Vintage Books, 1996. Print.

blue pin Silverstein, Michael. “The Culture of Language in Chinookan Narrative Texts: Or, on Saying That in Chinook.” Grammar Inside and Outside the Clause: Some Approaches to Theory from the Field. Ed. Johanna Nichols and Anthony C. Woodbury. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985. 132-171. Print.

blue pin “The Sun’s Myth (Kathlamet Chinook).” The Telling of the World: Native American Stories and Art. Ed. W. S. Penn. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1996. Print.

blue pin “Tallapus and the Cedar (Clatsop).” Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest. Ed. Katharine B. Judson. Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1910. Print.

blue pin “The Sun’s Myth (Kathlamet Chinook).” Coming to Light: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America. Ed. Brian Swann. New York: Vintage Books, 1996. Print.

blue pin “The Tahmanous Man (Chinook).” Native Americans of the Pacific Coast. Ed. Vinson Brown. Happy Camp: Naturegraph, 1985. Print.

blue pin Thompson, Craig B. “Gender Representation in Two Clackamas Myths.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 3.1 (1991):19-39. Print.

blue pin “Tongue (Clackamas Chinook).” The Telling of the World: Native American Stories and Art. Ed. W. S. Penn. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1996. Print.

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