"The Creator made the Salmon. He planted the Salmon upon in the Rivers for the People. He taught them how to care for the Salmon which was created for them. "Do not neglect this important food," he said. Always remember the Sacred Rules when you take care of Salmon. Never take more than you need, never lay a Salmon on the ground with his head toward the River. Place Salmon with his head facing away from the water." Thus the Creator gave the People these Sacred Laws. All along the River lived many Different People. There were many, many People catching and drying Salmon. That was the way it was when the Creator first made Salmon for the People. The People had everything placed for them - all the Sacred Foods; the Salmon, Deer, Roots, Berries, everything!

Traditional Story

The Stick People

The Yakama Indians of the east slope of the Cascade Mountains of Washington State have a legend, persisting to this day, of the "Stick People" or little ones that live high in the hills. Some hills are sacred places for the Stick People and should not be trammeled. If they are visited, the Stick People will do you harm. Also, the Stick People do a lot of unprovoked mischief, such as stealing your car keys. [Stories told to me - Bruce G. Marcot, Ph.D. Research Wildlife Ecologist - during a May 1997 invited visit into the sacred Yakama forest land -- by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists working closely with the Yakama Indian Nation.]

As noted by Robert Pyle,

A vast body of lore pertains to Ste-ye-hah'mah, also called Stick-shower Man or Stick Man. The Yakama word means a spirit hiding under the cover of the woods. Some say the "stick" refers to this habit, others that these creatures poke sticks into lodges to extract or harass victims, or rain sticks down upon them. In a recent Quinault story, women put out shallow baskets of salmon and other food, and See'atco takes the provender in exchange for firewood, which he places in the basket -- another "stick" connection. Some Indians consider Stick Men to be spirits whose name should not even be mentioned; Don Smith -- Lelooska -- thinks the Stick Men have merely been conflated with Bigfoot. - Robert Michael Pyle, 1995, Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide, Mariner Books, Boston, p. 133.

Story: The Tah-tah-kle'-ah (Owl-Woman Monster)

Yakama Indian Nation
Yakama Indian Nation History

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature
Compiled by: Glenn Welker

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