Mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas

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Coyote and Opossum appear in the stories of a number of tribes.

The mythologies of the indigenous peoples of North America comprise many bodies of traditional narratives associated with religion from a mythographical perspective. Indigenous North American belief systems include many sacred narratives. Such spiritual stories are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky and fire. The principle of an all embracing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit, a connection to the Earth, diverse creation narratives and collective memories of ancient ancestors are common. Traditional worship practices are often a part of tribal gatherings with dance, rhythm, songs and trance (e.g. the sun dance).

Algonquian (northeastern US, Great Lakes)[edit]

From the full moon fell Nokomis - from The Story of Hiawatha, 1910

Plains Natives[edit]

  • Blackfoot mythology – A North American tribe or band who currently live in Alberta and Montana. Originally west of the Great Lakes in Montana and Alberta as participants in Plains Natives culture.
  • Crow mythology – A North American tribe who currently live in southeastern Montana. The shaman of the tribe was known as an Akbaalia ("healer").
  • Lakota mythology – A North American tribe originally located in The Dakotas, also known as the Sioux.
  • Pawnee mythology – A North American tribe originally located in Nebraska, United States.

Muskogean (Southeastern US) and Iroquois (Northeastern US)[edit]

Alaska (United States) and Canada[edit]

Northwestern US and Western Canada[edit]

Uto-Aztecan (Southwestern US and Mexico)[edit]

Other southwestern US[edit]

Central America[edit]

  • Aztec, an ancient Central American empire centered in the valley of Mexico
  • Mayan, an ancient Central American people of southern Mexico and northern Central America.
  • Olmec, an ancient Central American people of south-central Mexico, in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco.
  • Purépecha, a Central American people centered around Lake Pátzuaro.

South America[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Colin F. Taylor (1994). Native American myths and legends. Smithmark Publishers, Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-8317-6290-2.
  • Sam D. Gill; Irene F. Sullivan (1994). Dictionary of Native American mythology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-508602-7.
  • Diana Ferguson (2001). Native American myths. Sterling Publishing Company Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-85585-824-4.
  • Dawn Elaine Bastian; Judy K. Mitchell (2004). Handbook of Native American Mythology. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-85109-533-9.
  • Fred Ramen (2008). Native American Mythology. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4042-0738-7.
  • Tom Lowenstein; Piers Vitebsky (2011). Native American Myths and Beliefs. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4488-5992-4.
  • Hartley Burr Alexander (2012). Native American Mythology. Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-12279-3.
  • Lewis Spence (2012). Native American Myths. Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-11235-0.
  • Q. L. Pearce (2012). Native American Mythology. Lucent Books. ISBN 978-1-4205-0716-4.

External links[edit]