Native Languages of the Americas: Hopi Legends and Traditional Stories
This is our collection of links to Hopi folktales and traditional stories that can be read online.
We have indexed our Native American folklore 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 Hopi tribe, the traditional stories of
related tribes like the Pueblo Indians are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Hopi legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please contact us and let us know.
Tawa (also spelled Taiowa, Taawa, and other ways):
The Hopi sun god, the first being in existence.
Sotuknang (also spelled Sootukwnangw and other ways):
Nephew of Tawa and creator of the universe under his uncle's direction.
(also known as Kookyangwso'wuuti):
Spider Woman, the special benefactor of the Hopi tribe. She created humans from clay (with the
assistance of Sotuknang and/or Tawa), and was also responsible for leading them to the Fourth
World (the present Earth.) Her Hopi name is pronounced similar to koh-kyang-woo-tee or koh-kyang-so-woo-tee, and in English
she is sometimes known as Old Spider Woman or Spider Grandmother.
Kokopelli (also spelled Kookopölö, Kokopele, Kokopeli,
and many other ways.) This is the best-known of the Hopi kachina spirits,
a fertility spirit associated with the robberfly (pölö in Hopi), represented in dance and art as a well-endowed humpbacked man.
(also spelled Katsinas, Katsinam, Katsinim, and other ways):
This is a collective Hopi term for supernatural spirit beings, revered by the Hopi and
other Pueblo peoples. There are hundreds of different Hopi katsina spirits; some of the
most important include Eototo (weather spirit and
chief of the kachinas), Angwusnasomtaka (Crow Mother, mother figure of all the kachinas),
Kokopelli (the fertility spirit), Koshari (a sacred clown),
Mongwa (owl spirit and enforcer of the law,)
Angak'china (Long Haired kachina, a spirit of rain and flowers),
and Mana (corn maidens, spirits of agriculture.) Kachina spirits are channeled by the Hopi
in sacred dances with elaborate ritual dance costumes, and figurines of these sacred dancers are
carved from cottonwood root (see our
Hopi kachinas art page for pictures
of these kachina figurines and links to traditional Hopi artists selling them.)
Cheveyo (also spelled
Tseeveyo, Chaveyo, Chevayo, and other ways): An ogre kachina, often used as a bogeyman to
frighten naughty children.
The Fourth World of the Hopis:
Excellent collection of Hopi legends, stories, and prophecies.
And It Is Still That Way:
Charming anthology of legends told by Hopi and other Arizona Indian children.
The Magic Hummingbird:
Picture book based on a Hopi folktale about a hummingbird that helped two lost children.
Field Mouse Goes to War:
The story of the Hopi hero Warrior Mouse, with illustrations by a Hopi artist.
The Mouse Couple:
Children's book illustrating a Hopi legend about a mouse girl's search for a husband.
American Indian Trickster Tales:
Compilation of more than a hundred stories about Skeleton Man, Coyote and other Native American tricksters.
(Use discretion sharing these with kids as some of the stories contain adult humor.)