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Native American Death Mythology

Here is our collection of Native American legends and traditional stories about death.

Native American Death Gods and Spirits

Atlantow (Mohican)
Bad Spirit (Iroquois)
Jiibayaabooz (Anishinabe)
Kudo (Bribri)
Matiguas (Abenaki)
Mahtantu (Lenape)
Mictlantecuhtli (Aztec/Mexica)
Sedna (Inuit)
Skeleton Man (Hopi)
Temmayawit (Mission Indian)

Native American Legends About Death

*Coyote and the Origin of Death: * How Death Became Eternal:
    Caddo Indian myth explaining why death is permanent.
*Coyote Regulates Life After Death:
    A different version of the Caddo legend about the permanence of death.
Glooskap and the Fearful Warrior:
    Mi'kmaq Indian legend about a man with a fear of death who turned into a cedar tree.
How the Rattlesnake Learned to Bite:
    Pima legend about the origin of death.
*Creation and Longevity:
    Achumawi Indian story about the origin of human mortality.
The Poor Man and the Ghosts:
    Potawatomi story about an orphan whose respect for the dead turns him into a leader of his tribe.
*Old Man and Old Woman * Woman Chooses Death * The Origin of Death:
    Blackfoot legends about the creation of humans and the origin of death.
*Creation and Longevity:
    Achumawi legend about Coyote bringing death to the world.
*When Raven Was Killed:
    Athabaskan legend about a drought caused by the death of a trickster Raven.

Recommended Books of Death Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
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The Great Change:
    Gentle children's book about Native American perspectives on death, written by a Native author.
Death Gods: An Encyclopedia of the Rulers, Evil Spirits, and Geographies of the Dead:
    Interesting book on the gods and lands of the dead in world mythology, including Native American myths.

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