Monday, February 04, 2008

Legends of the falls

Multnomah Falls in winter – photo taken by our friend, PQ.

According to one Native American legend, the falls were created by Coyote to win the hand of a chief’s daughter. The chief demanded that Coyote give his daughter the gift that would make her the most happy. She asked for a pool where she might bathe in private. So Coyote built the pool and the waterfalls and she consented to become his wife.

In another legend, there was a terrible disease killing the people. So the daughter of the chief climbed to the top of a cliff and prayed to Great Spirit to stop the epidemic. Great Spirit demanded she sacrifice herself by leaping from the cliff. To save her people, she did so. The next day, her father found her body at the bottom of the cliff. He wept bitterly and cried out to Great Spirit that her death not be in vain. At that moment, water began to fall from the top of the cliff, forming Multnomah Falls. And under the right conditions, you can see the daughter’s face in the waterfall.

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