In 1927 and 1929, Gladys Reichard conducted linguistic field work among the Coeur d’Alene people of northwestern Idaho.  She recorded 50 texts; forty-eight of these have been published in translation with analysis of motifs provided by Adele Froelich (Reichard 1947).  Reichard’s typed  texts, with interlinear word translations, are held by Professor Anthony Mattina at the University of Montana. 


Reichard’s main informants were Dorothy Nicodemus and Tom Miyal.  Dorothy’s daughter-in-law, Julia Antelope Nicodemus, provided two stories and greatly assisted Reichard in her analyses of  the tales (1947:2-3).  The data gleaned from these stories were the basis for Reichard’s grammar of Coeur d’Alene (1938).  Dorothy’s grandson, Lawrence Nicodemus, later assisted Reichard in preparing the grammar.


When viewing texts in the common phonetic transcription, clicking on a word will provide a glossary entry. Each word is identified by gloss; morphemic analysis; alternative transcription; and sources.  When viewing the texts in the tribal orthography, the glossary entries order of elements is a little different:  gloss; phonetic transcription; morphemic analysis; and sources.



Volume I: Tales with Historical Elements

The stories included here are the twelve stories Reichard identified as having historical elements (these tales are numbered 37 through 48 by Reichard (1947: x).  Reichard describes ten of these historical texts as narratives recounting “actual historical encounters which were remembered by living people or which had happened not less than a hundred years ago” (1947:6)   Reichard notes that the two narratives attributed to Julia Antelope Nicodemus, (42, The Coeur d’Alene Attacked; 46, Boy Takes Food), were written by Mrs. Nicodemus in the Coeur d’Alene language (1947:3), and were most likely written with the Boasian transcription system that Reichard used.  This transcription system appears in the Facsimile link when viewing the texts (photocopies of Reichard’s typed texts are being prepared for viewing under the Original link).  Reichard classifies the two remaining texts, Turtle’s War Party (37) and The Two-headed Snakes (38), as tales rather than myths since that is how her informants viewed them:  Reichard indicates that the scalping described in Turtle’s War Party recounts an actual scalping of a Nez Perce chief, even though the remainder of the plot is shared with other areal traditional stories; Dorothy Nicodemus’ father told her of seeing the two-headed snakes himself (1947:6).


We have included in this historical section a tale called Arthur (49).   The story has characters with European names (Arthur, his aunt Helen, Nelly the horse) and settings that include barns and stone houses.  The story’s teller is not identified in Reichard’s notes.


This section also includes a compilation of Church Teachings (50), necessarily considered historical texts.  The Catholic Church has had great influence on the Coeur d’Alene people, and the church’s  rituals and hymns were translated into Coeur d’Alene soon after the arrival of the missionaries in 1842 (Point and Donelly 1967: viii),


Sources are given with a two-letter abbreviation of the text name; page number; and line number.  The texts are identified as follows:




The Coeur d’Alene Attacked


War between the Blackfoot and the Coeur d’Alene


Church Teachings


Woman Saved by Loose Saddle Cinch


The Dwarf


Man Caught in Fire Corral


Flathead Chief Sends his Daughter to Chief Waxane (hinwaxane)


The Practical Joker


The Coeur d’Alene Fight the Kutenai


Two Women Overcome Nez Perce Man (mush)


Two-headed Snakes


Boy Takes Food (steals)


Turtle’s War Party

Volume II: Coyote cycle -- Coming soon

The analysis of this set of texts is in progress.

Volume III: Myths not in Coyote Cycle -- Coming soon

The analysis of this set of texts is in progress.


Ivy Doak
Timothy Montler