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)