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Legendary Native American Figures: Talapus

Name: Talapus
Tribal affiliation: Chinook
Alternate spellings: Italapas
Pronunciation: tah-lah-pus
Also known as: Coyote
Type: Animal spirits, tricksters, coyotes
Related figures in other tribes: Coyote (Western)

Coyote is a trickster character that occasionally appears in Chinook legends, even though Bluejay is the more typical trickster figure in Chinook mythology. Indeed, some of the same stories usually told about the Bluejay were sometimes told by Chinook people with Coyote as the main character instead. Coyote is the trickster figure of the Interior Salish and Plateau tribes; since the Chinooks were the center of a trade network that included most of the northwestern tribes, their mythology absorbed elements from many different tribes.

Talapus Stories

*Coyote Builds Willamette Falls and The Magic Fish Trap:
    Two Chinook Coyote legends.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

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

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Additional Resources

 Traders of the Columbia River
 Chinook spirits
 Chinook Jargon language
 Chinook words
 Washington Native American history
 Northwest Coast Native Americans
 Penutian language



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