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Native Languages of the Americas:
Haisla Legends and Traditional Stories

This is our collection of links to Haisla folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Indian lore 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 Haisla tribe, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Heiltsuk and Tsimshian are very similar.

Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Haisla legend for this page or think one of the ones on here should be removed, please let us know.

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Important Haisla Mythological Figures

The Transformer (also known as the Changer or Reformer): A mythic figure common to many Northwestern tribes, who brought balance to the world by using his powers to change people, animals, and the landscape into the forms they have today.

Raven: Raven is the culture hero of the Haisla and other Northwest Coast tribes. He is a benevolent figure who helps the people, but at the same time, he is also a trickster spirit and many Haisla stories about Raven have to do with his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble.

Mink: Mink is another Haisla trickster character. Indeed, some of Raven's more light-hearted adventures are sometimes told with Mink as the protagonist instead. However, compared with Raven, Mink is a more negative character who primarily embodies traits that are looked down upon by the Haisla people (greed, recklessness, arrogance, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, etc.) Haisla legends about Mink are often humorous, but also are cautionary tales about how not to behave.

Haisla Indian Legends

*Haisla Stories:
    Two legends in the Haisla language, with English translation.
*Haisla Legends by Gordon Robinson:
    Blog of a Haisla man presenting traditional stories.
*Haisla Living Landscapes:
    Website about Haisla story-telling and oral history.

Recommended Books on Haisla Myth

Tales of Kitamaat: Legends, Folk Stories and Customs of the Haisla People:
    Book of Haisla mythology and oral history.

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Additional Resources

 Supernatural beliefs of the Haislas
 Books of Native American legends
 Native American religions
 British Columbia Native people
 Pacific Northwest cultures
 Northwest Coast art
 Wakashan Indians
 Haisla culture
 American Indian peoples



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