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Native Languages of the Americas:
Umpqua Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Umpqua stories and folktales that can be read online. We have indexed our Indian tales section by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same story 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 Umpqua, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Tolowa and Tututni are very similar.

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

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Umpqua Mythological Figures

Tamanous (also spelled Tamahnous, Tamanamus, or other ways): The Creator god of the Upper Umpqua tribe. Actually this is the word for "god" or "spirit" in the Chinook Jargon trade language, which was widely used by the Umpqua and other Northwestern tribes. The original Umpqua name seems to have been lost to time (the Upper Umpqua language has not been spoken in generations and few records of it remain.) In English, he is often known as Old Man or Great Spirit.

Coyote: A trickster hero of the Umpqua and other tribes of the Oregon coast.

Umpqua Indian Folklore

*The Mountain with A Hole in the Top:
    A Cow Creek Umpqua legend about the origin of Crater Lake.

Recommended Books on Umpqua Myth

Lower Umpqua Texts:
    Collection of Umpqua, Siuslaw, and Alsea folklore and traditional stories.

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Additional Resources

 Books of Native Indian mythology
 Native American spirituality
 Oregon Indians
 Northwest cultures
 Athabaskan tribes
 American Indians life



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