Native Languages of the Americas: Haida Indian Legends
This is our collection of links to Haida folktales and traditional stories that can be read online.
We have indexed our Native American 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 Haidas, the traditional stories of
related tribes like the Tlingit and
Tsimshian tribes are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Haida legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please contact us and let us know.
(Xhuuya or Nankil'slas): Raven is the culture hero of the Haida and other Alaskan Indian 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 Raven stories have to do with
his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior causing trouble for him and the people around him.
Xhuuya, Raven's personal name, is pronounced similar to khoo-yah; Nankil'slas, a title meaning "voice handler," is pronounced
similar to nahn-kill-stloss (sometimes spelled Nang Kilstlas, Nankilstlas, Nunkilslas, or Nekilstlas.) Raven is also
occasionally referred to by Haida storytellers as Yaahl (the literal Haida word for "raven," pronounced
similar to "yall") or Wiigit (Raven's name in the neighboring Tsimshian tribe, pronounced wee-git in
Haida.) It is typical of Haida culture for men to acquire several different names in their lifetimes--
especially powerful and distinguished men-- so no Haida people would be confused by Raven's
A spirit woman with curly hair who brings prosperity to anybody who catches sight of her.