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Native Languages of the Americas:
Diegueno/Kumeyaay Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Kumeyaay folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American tales 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 Kumeyaay tribe, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Yuma and Mohave are very similar.

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

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Kumeyaay Mythological Figures

Tuchaipai (also spelled Tuchaipa, Tu-chai-pai, and other ways): The great Creator god of the Kumeyaay tribe. He was poisoned by a vengeful Frog and died. According to some Kumeyaay myths, his soul then became the moon, which can be seen every month wasting away and dying, then being reborn.

Yokomatis (also spelled Yokomat, Yo-ko-mat-is and other ways): Tuchaipai's twin brother. In some Kumeyaay myths he is Tuchaipai's assistant in the creation of humankind; in others he rules the underworld.

Chaup (Shooting Star Boy): A boy hero of Kumiai myths. His father and uncle are miraculous twins born without any father, and his mother and aunt are daughters of the cannibalistic Buzzard people, who the young hero must defeat to escape.

Kumeyaay Indian Legends

*Ceremonies and Traditions of the Diegueño Indians:
    Collection of Kumeyaay stories, legends and descriptions of traditional rituals.
*The Diegueno Story of Creation:
    Diegueno myths about the creation of the world.
*The Story of the Chaup:
    Diegueno myth about Shooting-Star Boy and his family.
*The Fly At The Council:
    Diegueno story about the origin of death.
*The Impiety of Frog * Fiesta Tu-Chai-Pai:
    Diegueno legends about the death of the Creator Tu-chai-pai.
*Mythology of the Mission Indians:
    Kumeyaay and other Mission Indian myths and legends.
*Mythology of Southern California:
    Early 20th-century collection of Diegueno and other California Indian legends.

Recommended Books on Kumeyaay Mythology
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The Mythology of the Dieguenos, and the Story of the Chaup:
    Book of Diegueno myths and legends.

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Additional Resources

 Kumeyaay religion and expressive traditions
 Native American legends
 American Indian traditions
 Kumeyaay Indians
 Tribes in California
 California people
 Hokan language
 Indian culture center



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