Native American language
Native American Indian people
Native American art
Native American Afterlife Mythology
Native American beliefs about the afterlife vary greatly from tribe to tribe. In the traditions of many
Native American tribes, the souls of the dead pass into a spirit world, where they can occasionally still
communicate with the living through dreams or the intercession of medicine people. In other tribes there
is a more structured land of the dead, often presided over by a god of death or other supernatural caretaker.
In some tribes there is no Native American afterlife per se-- dead people are believed to become stars or part of
the earth unless they are disturbed and turned into ghosts by grave robbing or other unnatural acts. And in
some tribes there is no afterworld at all because
the spirits of the dead are reincarnated as new infants within their family or clan.
The Afterworld or Land of the Dead in Various Tribes
Big Sand (Gros Ventre Indian spirit world)
Skeleton House (Hopi Indian spirit world)
Xibalba (Maya Indian underworld)
Native American Afterworld Gods and Spirits
Chibiabos (Potawatomi Indian afterlife god)
Masau'u (Hopi Indian afterlife god)
Mateguas (Abenaki Indian afterlife god)
Mahwaew (Menominee Indian afterlife god)
Sedna (Inuit underworld god)
Native American Legends about the Afterworld
The Spirit Bride The Worm Pipe:
Native American legends about grieving men who follow their wives to the afterworld.
Blue Jay Visits Ghost Town Ioi and the Ghost World:
Chinook Indian legends about the hero Blue-Jay in the Land of the Dead.
The Happy Hunting Ground:
Traditional Narragansett beliefs about the afterlife.
Coyote Regulates Life After Death:
Caddo legend about Coyote and the afterlife.
Faith The Cree Way:
Oral history from Cree elders about spirits of the dead returning to share wisdom about the afterlife.
Recommended Books of Afterworld Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
Ghosts, Spirits & the Afterlife in Native American Folklore and Religion:
Interesting book about concepts of death and the spirit world in Native American cultures.
Ghost Walk: Native American Tales of the Spirit:
A book of Native American stories and legends about interactions with benevolent spirits of the dead.
Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2015 Contacts and FAQ page
Back to American Indian myths and legends
Back to American Indian sacred places
Back to American Indian legends about death
Cherokee indian reservation
Dreamcatcher Native American
Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?