Native American Legends

The Native Americans had a very strong tradition of mythology.

As the people were originally composed of numerous different tribes their customs, language and beliefs varied enormously. However, most were based on nature, the weather and the coming of the seasons

Our collection of tales has been taken from a variety of different sources.

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Thumbnail For A Tribe That Left Its Shoes
There once lived an Indian tribe, who were forced to flee after a volcano erupted. The moccasins they left to show them the trail back turned into orchids.
Thumbnail For Chief Two Hawks' Trail
There was a drought, meaning it was famine time. Of the tribe, only Chief Two Hawks was strong enough to stand, so he went hunting maybe for the last time.
Thumbnail For Grandmother River's Trick
Little fish swam in a river, who was their grandmother. Also in the river was a garfish who was eating them. Grandmother River played a trick to save them.
Thumbnail For Kachina Brings The Spring
It should be spring, but it was cold and no rain. The tribe was suffering great hunger. A little girl, with a kachina doll, heard the medicine men talking.
Thumbnail For Old Quanah's Gift
Old Quanah, once a brave warrior, was a blanket weaver. Although he made blankets that were greatly admired, there was one that he never seemed to finish.
Thumbnail For The Cottonwood Remembers
When it is April, the cottonwood tree sends white feathers floating down in the air. This is in memory of times long ago, when the owl did not eat others.
Thumbnail For The Evil Water Spirits
An Indian woman was blessed with twins. They were their mother's joy, but tired of her wigwam. One day they slipped away to the water, where evil lurked.
Thumbnail For The Maidens Who Broke A Drought
There was once a great drought, that never seemed to end. The medicine man told the chief that to rain, they must fed some of the maidens to great serpent.
Thumbnail For The Plant That Grows In Trees
The mistletoe does not live on the ground like other plants, but grows in the limbs of trees. Only birds can eat the berries and a bird placed it there.
Thumbnail For The Rabbit And The Wolf
Rabbit loved playing tricks on the animals, but most of all he enjoyed teasing wolf. One day wolf caught rabbit intending to cook his ears as punishment.
Thumbnail For The Swift Blue One
The was a time, not too long ago, when Indians had never seen a horse. Spanish explorers brought horses with them which were a source of wonder to Indians.
Thumbnail For The Tar Wolf
There was a great drought, the animals held a council thinking to leave in search of water, but Brother Rabbit told them they could drink the morning dew.
Thumbnail For The Trailing Arbutus
Many moons ago, in deep winter an old man was sheltering in his lodge. The wind suddenly blew open his door and there standing outside was a lovely maiden.
Thumbnail For The Tower That Sings
There is talk of a tower that sings, but Lone-Chief believes it is the work of Tirawa. He placed the stars and commanded that they sing in the morning.
Thumbnail For When The Rainbow Was Torn
Long ago, all flowers were white. After rain, the rainbow was heavy with water and sank low. It brushed the plants, leaving behind the colors we see today.
Thumbnail For When The Stars Took Root
Once a tribe of Indians lived and hunted on the moon. One of the tribe was the daughter of the Chief of the Moon, who loved the son of a Chief on Earth.
Thumbnail For When The Storm God Rides
The shores of Texas did not always have islands. They were made by the Storm God, as homes for all the wild birds like: gulls, pelicans, cranes and herons.
Thumbnail For Why The Dog's Ears Flop
Once the dog was wild as the wolf. His ears stood straight up and he held his tail proudly. But when guarding Indian man's food he was tricked by wolves.
Thumbnail For Why The Woodpecker Pecks
Long ago woodpeckers were Indians. It occurred, that a tribe discovered mescal and neglected their children. Manitou, a sky god, saved them from starving.

Sources And Further Reading

Sacred Texts When the Storm God Rides Tejas and Other Indian Legends by Florence Stratton collected by Bessie M. Reid [1936]