This is our collection of links to Cayuga folktales and traditional stories that can be read online.
We have indexed our American Indian stories section
by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same
legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to
each other, so you may also want to visit our page comparing
the stories from the Iroquois tribes (which
include the Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Mohawk, and Cayuga Indians), since the traditional stories of those
tribes are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Cayuga legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please let us know.
The Cayuga mother goddess, said to have fallen through a hole in the sky.
The Twin Gods:
The culture heroes of the Cayuga tribe. In most Iroquois legends, the Twins are
grandsons of Sky Woman and their mother dies in childbirth; however, in Cayuga
legends the twins are often said to be Sky Woman's sons.
(sometimes known as Sapling)
was the benefactor of the Cayugas and according to some tellings, the creator of humankind. He slew monsters
and created many things to help humankind. His twin
(sometimes known as Flint)
created everything negative and dangerous in the world, and according to some tellings, was responsible for
introducing death to the world.
The Creator (Shongwayadihsonh, in Cayuga):
The high god of Iroquois mythology, a benevolent teacher and caretaker of the world.
In some traditions the Creator is referred to as Orenda
or the Great Spirit.
The Thunders (Hadiwennodagyes, in Cayuga):
Powerful storm spirits who live in the sky and cause thunder and lightning. Although they are
dangerous beings and their gaze can bring death to mortal men, they usually play a positive
role in Cayuga legends and are typically portrayed as honorable and fair.
Spirit of the Corn, a fertility goddess and one of the Three Sisters of Cayuga agriculture.
Stone-Throwers (Jigahenh, in Cayuga):
Little people of Iroquoian folklore. They are dwarf-like nature spirits about 2 feet tall.
Stonecoats (Ganehwa:s, in Cayuga):
Mythological giants of the Iroquois tribes, with skin as hard as stone.
Monster in the form of a giant disembodied head, usually created during a particularly violent murder.
Naked Bear (Hnyagwai'go:wah, in Cayuga):
A giant, hairless bear monster. Some people associate them with mammoths.
A dragon-like horned serpent of the Great Lakes, feared for its habit of capsizing canoes and eating people.