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Native Languages of the Americas:
Ioway Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Ioway folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American stories 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 Ioways, the mythology of related tribes like the Kanza and Otoe tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Ioway Mythological Figures

Ictinike (also spelled Ishjinki, Ishtinike, and other ways. Sometimes he is referred to as Old Man Ishjinki.) Ictinike is the Trickster figure of Missouri, Otoe, and Iowa folklore. Ictinike was the son of the Sun God, but due to his bad behavior was exiled to earth, where he had many adventures and got in every imaginable kind of trouble.

Dore and Wahre'dua: These magical twins whose mother was killed by a monster are common to the myths of many Midwestern and Plains tribes. They are generally portrayed as heroic monster-slayers in Ioway legends.

Sharp-Elbows (Itopa'hi): A man-eating ogre with spikes on his elbows and faces on both sides of his head.

World-Man (Maianwatahe): Dwarf-like god of hunting.

Shunka Warak'in: A wolf-like monster of Ioway folklore.

Ioway Indian Legends

*Dore and Wahredua:
    Iowa legends about the Twin Holy Brothers.
*The Adventures of Ictinike:
    Iowa story about the trickster Ictinike being bested by Rabbit.
*Ictinike and the Buzzard:
    Iowa Indian legend about Ictinike's revenge on a buzzard.
*Ictinike and the Creators:
    Ioway Indian myths about Ictinike's visits to Beaver, Muskrat, Kingfisher, and Flying Squirrel.
*The Story of Maianwatahe:
    Iowa legend about a boy raised by the dwarf Maianwatahe.
*The Bee King and the Snake's Daughters:
    An Ioway story about two serpent monsters.

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Additional Resources

 Ioway religion and expressive traditions
 Books of Native American myth
 Native American religion
 Ioway words
 Indian tribes of Iowa
 Native Americans of the Plains
 Siouan tribes
 Ioway culture
 Ioway websites



Back to Native American animal spirits
Read some American Indian poetry
Learn more about the Ioway tribe.



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