Native Languages of the Americas: Koyukon Indian Legends
This is our collection of links to Koyukon folktales and traditional stories that can be read online.
We have indexed our Native American mythology 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 Koyukon, the traditional stories of
related tribes like the Gwichin and
Ingalik tribes are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Koyukon legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please let us know.
Raven (Dotson 'sa or Dotson'sa in the Koyukon language):
Raven is the creator god of the Koyukon and other Alaskan Athabaskan 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 Koyukon stories about Raven have to do with
his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble.
(also spelled K't-talqani or other ways, and sometimes known as Betohoh or Betoxox):
A heroic monster-slayer in Koyukon folklore, known in English as the Wanderer or Transformer.
Frequently he uses his cleverness rather than his strength to defeat his enemies,
at which point he either kills them or transforms them into something harmless.
K'etetaalkkaanee is also credited with the invention of the first canoe.
He is identified with the beaver, and some Koyukon story-tellers give him the name
Smart Beaver, Wise Beaver, or Beaver Man.
Nik'inla'eena' (also known as Nik'il'eena):
The Woodsman, a hairy wild man of the forest. His name literally means "sneaks about," for he moves through the wilderness
silently and rarely reveals himself to humans. Frequently he steals things or causes other minor mischief, and in some stories
has been said to capture Athabaskan children.