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Native American Legends: Apistotoke

Name: Apistotoke
Tribal affiliation: Blackfoot
Alternate spellings: Apistotoki , Apistotooki, A'pistotooki, Apistotokio, Apisstotoki, A'pistitooki
Also known as: Ihtsipatapiyohpa , Iihtsipaitapiiyo'pa, Great Spirit
Pronunciation: A'pistotooki is pronounced ah-piss-toh-toh-kee; Iihtsipaitapiiyo'pa varies by dialect but is usually pronounced ee-tsih-pie-tah-pee-yoh-puh.
Type: High god, Creator
Related figures in other tribes: Kitchi Manitou (Ojibwe), Tabaldak (Abenaki), Kiehtan (Wampanoag), Gisoolg (Mi'kmaq)

Apistotoke is the great creator god of the Blackfoot tribe. This name literally means "Our Creator" in Blackfoot. Apistotoke is a divine spirit with no human form or attributes and is never personified in Blackfoot folklore-- in fact, although Apistotoke is usually described as male in modern English, this being is entirely gender-neutral in original Blackfoot texts. Apistotoke is also known as by the name Iihtsipaitapiiyo'pa ("Source of Life") or, in English, Great Spirit. Despite featuring in many traditional prayers, Apistotoke plays a very minimal role in folklore-- the Transformer characters Old-Man and Old-Woman do most of the "hands-on" work of creating and teaching humankind. Apistotoke was used as a translation for "God" in Blackfoot translations of the Bible, and today many Blackfoot people consider the Creator and the Christian God to be one and the same.


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Apistotoke Stories

*The Creation:
    Blackfoot myth about Apistotoke creating the Earth and the Above People.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians:
    Collection of traditional Blackfoot legends and folktales.
Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies:
    Anthology of folklore from the Blackfoot and other Northern Plains tribes.

Additional Resources

 Story of the Blackfoot People
 Blackfeet legends
 Siksika language
 Montana languages
 Plains Native American cultures
 The Algonquians



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