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Native Languages of the Americas:
Kalapuya Indian Legends

This is our collection of links to Kalapuya folktales and traditional stories 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 Kalapuyas, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Takelma and Chinook tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Kalapuya Mythological Figures

Coyote. Coyote is the trickster figure of the Kalapuya tribe. As in other Plateau Indian mythology, Kalapuya stories about Coyote range from light-hearted tales of mischief and buffoonery to more serious legends about the nature of the world.

Amhuluk. This is a Kalapuya sea monster responsible for drowning humans in the lakes.

Ptchiza (also spelled Ptciza, Pchiza, Petchiza, and other ways.) This is a Kalapuya version of the French Canadian folk hero Petit-Jean or Ti-Jean. Like his counterparts in European fairytales, Ptchiza usually features in Kalapuya tales as a resourceful young orphan boy who succeeds at various trials and becomes a chief.

Kalapuya Indian Folklore

*Coyote Takes Water from the Frog People:
    Kalapuya Indian myth about Coyote bringing water to the people.
*The Story of Amhuluk, the Monster of Wapato Lake:
    A Kalapuya story about Amhuluk the sea monster.

Recommended Books on Kalapuya Mythology

Coyote Was Going There: Indian Literature of the Oregon Country:
    Excellent anthology of folklore from the Kalapuya, Santiam, Atfalati, and other Oregon tribes.
Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest:
    Collection of legends and folktales from the Kalapuya and other northwestern tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Kalapuya religion and expressive traditions
 Books of Native American legends
 Native beliefs
 Kalapuya language
 Oregon Native Americans
 Penutian Indians
 Native website

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