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Native Languages of the Americas:
Gwich'in Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Gwich'in folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our American Indian legends 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 Gwich'in, the traditional stories of other Athabaskan tribes like the Ahtna and Koyukon tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Gwich'in Mythological Figures

Raven (Dotson'Sa, in the Gwich'in language): Raven is the creator god of Gwich'in mythology. He is a revered and benevolent figure who helps the people and shapes their world for them, but at the same time, he is also a trickster character and many Gwichin stories about Raven have to do with his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble.

Navigator: Also known as the Transformer or Wanderer, Navigator is a heroic monster-slayer in Gwich'in folklore. Frequently he uses his cleverness rather than his strength to defeat his enemies, at which point he either kills them or transforms them into something harmless.

Gwich'in Indian Folklore

*Gwitchin Stories:
    Five tales from the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.
*Raven, the Spirit Helper:
    Gwich'in legend about Raven, Beaver Man, and the creation of the world.
*Raven's Athabaskan Tales:
    Online collection of seven Gwich'in and other Alaskan Athabaskan legends about the trickster hero Raven.

Recommended Books of Gwich'in Stories
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Our Voices: Native Stories of Alaska and the Yukon:
    Collection of legends and oral history from the Gwich'in and other Athabaskan tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Gwich'in tribe
 Gwich'in language
 Indian books of mythology
 Indian spirituality
 Alaska Natives
 Subarctic Indians

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