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Native Languages of the Americas:
Esselen Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Esselen folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American mythology section by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same story 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 Esselens, the traditional stories of neighboring tribes like the Ohlone and Yokuts tribes are very similar.

Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Esselen legend for this page or think one of the ones on here should be removed, please let us know.

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Important Esselen Mythological Figures

Coyote (Machkas, in the Esselen language): The culture hero of Esselen myths. In some tales, Coyote plays the mischievous trickter role common in California Indian folklore, but in others, he is a more serious protagonist who fathers the Costanoan tribes and teaches them the arts of civilization.

Esselen Indian Folklore

*Children of Coyote:
    Creation myth from the Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen Nation.

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Additional Resources

 Esselen religion and expressive traditions
 The Religion of the Indians of California
 Books of American Indian folktalkes
 Indian religion
 California Natives
 California culture area
 Hokan
 Esselen culture
 Native Indian cultures



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