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Native Languages of the Americas:
Coos Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories
This is our collection of links to Coos stories and folktales that can be read online.
We have indexed our Native American legends section
by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same
legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to
each other. In particular, though these legends come from the Coos, the mythology of
related tribes like the Siuslaw and
Alsea tribes are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Coos story for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please let us know.
As in many Native American tribes, traditional Coos myths and sacred stories were told only during
the winter. Myths about Coyote, even the most humorous ones, were among the stories restricted
to wintertime. Coos folktales and other stories, such as legends about monsters and heroes,
were told at any time of year.
Coyote is the culture hero of the Coos and other tribes of the Oregon coast.
Although he behaves as a trickster character in some Coos stories, he is also a more serious
transformer figure who teaches the people how to live and helps shape the world for them,
and therefore he was a respected figure among the Coos tribes. His Coos name is pronounced
similar to yay-leese.
Collection of Coos legends and folktales.
The Woman who Married a Merman:
Coos legend about a woman who turned into an otter.
Recommended Books on Coos Myth
Coyote Was Going There: Indian Literature of the Oregon Country:
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links
Excellent anthology of folklore from the Coos and other Oregon tribes.
Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest:
Collection of legends and folktales from the Coos and other northwestern tribes.
Coos religion and expressive traditions
American Indian books of mythology
Oregon Indian tribes
North American Indian languages
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