Native Languages of the Americas: Iroquois Legends and Traditional Stories
This is our collection of links to Iroquois folktales and traditional stories that can be read online.
We have indexed our Native American myths 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. On this page, we have included myths and legends from the
Cayuga Tribe, and
five allied tribes of the northeast woodlands who speak similar languages
and share many cultural similarities, including much of their folklore.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend an Iroquois legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please contact us and let us know.
Click on each character's name for more detailed information about his or her role in Iroquois mythology.
The mother goddess of the Iroquois tribes, said to have fallen through a hole in the sky.
Sky Woman's grandsons. One of them (variously named Sapling, Good Spirit, Good Mind,
Right-Handed, etc.) was the benefactor of the Iroquois, slew monsters and created many
things to help humankind; his twin (variously named Flint, Bad Mind, Bad Spirit, Left-Handed,
etc.) was evil and caused destruction.
Powerful storm spirits who live in the sky and cause thunder and lightning. Although they are
dangerous beings and their gaze can bring death to mortal men, they usually play a positive
role in Iroquois legends and spirituality and are typically portrayed as honorable and fair.
A giant, hairless bear monster. Some people associate them with mammoths.