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Legendary Native American Figures: Qone

Name: Qone
Tribal affiliation: Chehalis, Puyallup
Alternate spellings: Qoneqone, Xwoni
Pronunciation: similar to kwoh-neh
Also known as: Lokwal, Nukwimalh, Moon, Honne
Type: Transformer, culture hero, moon god
Related figures in other tribes: Seuku (Alsea), Cikla (Chinook)

Qone is a Transformer figure, a type of hero common to the mythology of many Northwest Coast tribes. In Chehalis mythology, Qone brought balance to the world by using his powers to change people, animals, and the landscape into the forms they have today. After accomplishing this, he changed himself into the moon and his younger brother into the sun.

Originally, there was a strong distinction between the Transformer Moon and the ribald trickster figure Xwun. In modern times this distinction has eroded. It is likely that the name "Qone" is actually a corruption of the name Xwun, and the intermediate form "Honne" is used by some modern storytellers to refer to the Moon and by others to refer to the Trickster. The X-rated adventures of Xwun are rarely heard anymore except in a few anthropology texts, and many Native storytellers today refer to the two magical heroes interchangeably.

Qone Stories

Honne Names The Salmon:
    Excerpt from the Chehalis creation myth, in which Moon (here named Honne) transforms fish.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Honne, the Spirit of the Chehalis:
    Origin myth of the Chehalis told by a Native storyteller.
Salish Myths and Legends:
    Anthology of legends and traditional stories from the Chehalis and other Salish tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Coast Salish Lifeways
 Chehalis stories
 Chehalis tribe
 Washington tribes
 Native Northwest Coast
 Salishan languages



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