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Native Languages of the Americas:
Gitxsan Legends and Traditional Stories

This is our collection of links to Gitxsan folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Indian lore 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 Gitxsan tribe, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Nisgaa and Tsimshian are very similar.

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

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Important Gitxsan Mythological Figures

Raven (Txeemsim or Wegyet): Raven is the culture hero of the Gitxsan and other Northwest Coast tribes. He is a revered and benevolent transformer figure who helps the people and shapes their world for them, but at the same time, he is also a trickster character and many Gitxsan stories about Raven have to do with his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble. Txeemsim is the hero's personal name and is pronounced similar to chaim-sim (sometimes also spelled Txeemism, Txemsim, or other ways) Wegyet is pronounced similar to wee-gyet (sometimes also spelled Weget, Weegyet, Wigyet, Wii-Gyat, or Wii Gyet) and is an eponym meaning "big man" or "giant." Occasionally younger people may also refer to him by the name Gaak, which is the literal Gitxsan word for "raven," but this is not done in traditional stories.

Gitxsan Indian Folklore

*Gitxsan Living Landscapes:
    Website about Gitxsan story-telling and oral history.

Recommended Books on Gitxsan Mythology

We-Gyet Wanders On:
    Collection of Nisga'a and Gitksan Raven legends.

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Additional Resources

 Books of Native American myth
 Indian religions
 British Columbia reserves
 Pacific Northwest culture
 Northwest Coast art
 Penutian tribes
 Native American people



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