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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.

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Cocopa Mythological Figures

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.

Cocopa Indian Folklore

*The Creation Myth:
    The Cocopah story of the creation of humans by Sipa and his brother Komat, in English and Spanish.

Recommended Books on Cocopa Mythology

And It Is Still That Way:
    Charming anthology of legends told by Cocopah and other Arizona Indian children.
Cocopa Texts:
    Collection of Cocopa legends and traditional stories.

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Additional Resources

 Books of American Indian mythology
 Native American religion
 Native Americans in Arizona
 Southwestern Indians
 Hokan tribes
 American Indian culture



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