Topic: Stillaguamish

The Fire-War

Legend Telling How Indians Obtained Fire Long time ago Indian, hee’s got trouble all the time; hee’s got no fire to cook meat and make warm. Spose you like to hear how Indian got some fire? This time, long time ago, animal just same way like man. He talk, everybody understand. Fur and skin he put on and take off just like coat. Same way everybody-animals, birds and fish. Well, this time everybody talk all the time bout fire. He say: This way we make cook and warm, hee’s no good. First we put stuff in basket and then all

Skabalko

From Toll Dachib to Skabalko, the junction of the rivers at Arlington, were several temporary camps. Skabalko was known far and wide. Sauks traveling to the Sound and back, Snohobish coming down the South fork, parties coming up river to dig for roots, spaykoolitz and leek at Ba-quab (Kent’s Prairie) nearly always stopped there and camped. At Bah-quab lived an old man and woman about 50 years ago. They seldom left their home, but kept watch over the Prairie, dug roots and gave to travelers in exchange for fish and venison. From Ba-quab there was a trail to Kellogg Marsh,

Indian Justice

The Indian had no law books. He had the unwritten law. It worked. For instance a man accused of adultery was tried by members of the tribe and if found guilty, he was publicly flogged. If the crime was, repeated he was given a heavier dose and the third time banished. The methods of dealing with law violators varied greatly among the different tribes.  

Sti-Kieo and Skobie

Wolf and Dog In the time before the white settlers came, the Indians did not have the kind of dog they have now. They had Shle-kah, a gray-brown collie-like dog with long hair. No one seems to know where this dog came from. Some say he came from the far north. But a story is told by others. Wolf and Coyote used to live together; Wolfe was head of the family. When food was scarce Coyote was sent to the Indian camps to pick up bones and scraps, and bring them home for food. This worked well for a while,

Ku-Kwil Khaedib

About a mile above Hat Slough (To Toluqe) lived Ku-kwil Khaedib, a big man in councils, well known and respected among his people. From the To Toluque country to Toll Dachub (the Pilchuck) he and his family could fish, hunt and pick berries without interfering with any one’s else rights. His house (Alhal) was big and long, and could shelter many people, which was quite necessary because there were held councils and many men came to talk over important matters together. Around the big house lived many relatives in small houses. Along the river banks and across country were trails.

The Graveyards

No more are the graveyards of the Indian,. With the coming of the white settlers they disappeared. When Indians died they went to a far country where the good things of life were more abundant–especially good hunting. They left their bodies here, and these were put into a canoe. By the body was laid some of their personal belongings, weapons and packstraps–things they might need on the journey. Members of the tribe would take them to the graveyard. The canoe was dragged ashore, hoisted up among the trees, and tied to limbs, there to hang in a horizontal position. During

The Steet-Athls

All over Skagit and parts of Whatcom and Snohomish counties, the Indians used at times to be greatly worried about a mysterious tribe of wild Indians, who lived way up in the mountains back of Mt. Baker. Nobody had ever seen their homes. They traveled all over the country by night and lived by thievery. They knew everything about the other tribes. Those who offered resistance to them they would pester and harass at every opportunity. Many Indians were very careful when traveling at night for fear of the Steet-athls. Their tracks were sometimes seen in the snow. One way

The Longhouse

Across the river from Trafton, a short distance below the bridge, stood the Stolouckquamish Longhouse, 30 paces long acid 6 wide, a door in the middle of the front side. From fireplaces inside pictures were painted on the walls. One part of the roof overlapped the other at the top so smoke could leak out but rain could not come in. The walls were made of long, finely hewn boards nailed to heavy studdings. Along the walls all around the room was a row of wide benches also used as beds. A well-built and fine Longhouse, said those who saw

Tsahlbilt

Tsahlbilt, the stronghouse keeper, was a respected man-big, strong and wise. All the Indians between Kee-kee-alos (the delta of the Skagit) Chigos (the highlands of Camano), Quadsak (the lowlands around Stanwood), Splaidid (Warm Beach) and the Upper Stoluckquamislr, knew him. He had good medicine to keep raiders away. At the junction of a slough with the river, just east of the present town of Stanwood, was built the stronghouse-big logs for walls and long, thick slabs for roof. Around the house was a deep trench with a lot of sharp pointed stakes in the bottom. Over this trench was laid

Achalitch

From Skabalko at Arlington to Klatsko (Jim Creek) on the Achalitch (South Fork) was the home of the Achalitchamish (people). They hunted and fished over a lot of good country. The last well known man of this tribe was Stiabalth, son of Stadahahlt. At Klatsko at one time lived a woman who became the great, great grandmother of nearly all the people of the Stolouck and Achalitch. A great hunter of Klatsko traveled all the way to Chemacum before he found the right one. He brought her home and she was honored by his tribe.