Native Languages of the Americas: Cocopa Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories (Cocopah)
This is our collection of links to Cocopah stories and folktales 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. In particular, though these legends come from the Cocopas, the traditional stories of
related tribes like the Kumeyaay and
Mojave tribes are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Cocopa legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please let us know.
Sipa (also Sipakmat or Sipakmaat):
The Cocopa creator god. Unlike Native cultures in the rest of North America, the Cocopa and other
Sonoran tribes of southeast California and southwestern Arizona did not consider their Creator to be
a benevolent spirit or a friend to humankind-- he was capricious and deceitful, and was eventually
slain by his own creations after introducing death to the world.
Coyote: Coyote is the
trickster figure of Cocopa legends. He is clever but reckless, and is constantly getting himself
and the people around him into trouble with his irresponsible and socially inappropriate behavior.
In some Cocopa stories, Coyote is generally a likeable character who is merely greedy and impulsive. In others,
he commits serious crimes such as cannibalism and abuse of women. Coyote stories are often humorous
in nature, but they can also be cautionary tales about the consequences of bad behavior and the dangers
of interacting with reckless and immoral people.