The Story of the Origin of the Humpback Salmon (Snoqualmie)

  • By Snuqualmie Charlie (sia'txted)
  • Posted 8/02/2000
  • Essay 2589
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Snuqualmie Charlie (sia'txted) (ca. 1850-?) told the Snoqualmie Tribe's story regarding the origin of the Humpback Salmon to Anthropologist Arthur C. Ballard (1876-1962) in 1916:

If Hado, the humpback salmon, is angry as he comes up the river, he brings a sickness, smallpox or something, upon the people.

Hado at his first coming was somewhat afraid of the Indians. He did not wish to meet with ridicule from anyone. In coming up the river he did not wish anyone to catch him and throw him on the bank carelessly. He wanted to be dried and kept for food.

Hado came up the river singing, "I do not want the young people to make sport of me." Coming up he sang, "The Snuqualmi young people are going to laugh at me, coming up the river. They laugh at me because I have a hump back, coming up the river."

Hado came up the river to die. He likes that, lying along the bank. His soul always goes back home. He goes down-river, saying, "Good-bye," to the people of Snuqualmi.

"It will be another year before I come up the river again," he says.


Arthur C. Ballard, "Mythology of Puget Sound," University of Washington Publications in Anthropology, Vol. 3, No. 2 (December 1929), pp. 134-135.

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