The Indian Country, 1800: A Brilliant Plan for Living
Creators Gifts Men and Women A Vast Network


Obtaining the Weyekin

Spirit helpers played an important role in most Indian communities. The Columbia River people living in what is now eastern Oregon called these helpers "Weyekin." Weyekin offered humans a link to the invisible world of spiritual power and acted as a channel for gifts. They promoted good crops, successful hunts, and happy relationships.

In the early years of the twentieth century, J. M. Cornelison, with the help of Phillip Minthorn (a relative of exhibit consultant Marjorie Waheneka), compiled a small book of stories about Umatilla spiritual helpers. In it he explains how a young person should go about making contact with a Weyekin.

J. M. Cornelison. "Portrait of Philip Minthorn," in Weyekin Stories (Titwatit Stories), 1911.

Click here to read a story about obtaining the Weyekin.
Newberry Library