Chehalis stories

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

This dissertation presents a critical edition of the Chehalis stories collected by Franz Boas on the Chehalis Reservation in 1927. The primary goal of this project is to repatriate these stories to the Chehalis people. Boas’ field notes and typescripts, held at the American Philosophical Society, serve as the foundation for this edition and yield fifty-six previously unpublished Chehalis stories. I transcribed and edited these materials, troubleshot with Chehalis language speakers to work through untranslated passages and rework confusing ones, talked with Chehalis people to better situate these stories in their cultural and historical contexts, and consulted with anthropologists and linguists familiar with Chehalis languages and literatures to develop a critical apparatus for both native and non-native audiences and prepare these stories for repatriation. The critical apparatus consists of an introduction, an explanation of editorial interventions, exhaustive endnotes providing cultural, historical, and linguistic detail, and appendix materials. Chehalis stories collected in the name of salvage ethnography by Edmond Meany, Katherine Van Winkle Palmer, and Thelma Adamson broaden the discussion of repatriation beyond Boas, with Meany’s unpublished field notes brought out here as well. The process of preparing these stories for publication has itself been an act of repatriation: this work has been highly collaborative and each conversation about these stories with Chehalis people has been an act of bringing these stories back to them. This project culminates in the formal reintroduction of these stories to Chehalis tribal members at the Chehalis Tribe’s 2018 Annual Meeting, at which 400 tribal members received copies of Chehalis Stories. These stories are now being shared within the Chehalis community and have been returned to the families of the people who shared them with Boas.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation