Native Languages of the Americas: Pentlatch Indian Legends
This is our collection of links to Pentlatch folktales and traditional stories that can be read online.
We have indexed our Native American myths 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 Pentlatch, the traditional stories of
related tribes like the Klallam and
Lushootseed tribes are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Pentlatch story for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please contact us and let us know.
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 is the culture hero of the Pentlatch and other northern Salish tribes.
He is a benevolent figure who helps the people,
but at the same time, he is also a trickster spirit and many Raven stories have to do with
his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble.
Mink is another Pentlatch 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 Pentlatch people (greed, recklessness, arrogance, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene,
etc.) Stories about Mink are often humorous, but also are cautionary tales about how not to behave.