Native Languages of the Americas: Hidatsa Indian Legends
This is our collection of links to Hidatsa 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 Hidatsas, the traditional stories of
related tribes like the Mandan and
Arikara tribes are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Hidatsa legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please let us know.
Coyote, the creator god of the Hidatsas. Unlike most Siouan tribes, the Mandans and Hidatsas did not consider Coyote as a
buffoon or trickster character, but as a powerful benefactor to humanity.
Coyote's clan cousin and sidekick, who often plays practical jokes at his cousin's expense.
Lodge-Boy and Spring-Boy
(Hidatsa names Atutish and Mahaash, also spelled A-tu-tish, Ma-hash, Mahash, and other ways):
These mythical twins whose mother was killed by a monster are common to the folklore of many
Midwestern and Eastern tribes. After slaying four monsters the boys were given the collective
war name Macee Nuubash (meaning Twin Men or Two Men,) by which they are also sometimes
known. They are portrayed as heroic monster-slayers in Hidatsa legends, and Spring-Boy's
suffering at the hands of their enemies was the origin of the Hidatsa Sun Dance.
The uncle of the twins, Charred Body is a Hidatsa culture hero who led the people to the earth
from their original home in the sky. However, he also introduced murder to the world by killing
a woman who insulted him.