Traditional Native American legends about love are sometimes a little curious to a modern American audience, because unlike classical mythology and
European folktales, the Native American love stories rarely directly mention love. In fact, it is usually only in trickster tales and other funny stories that
Native American characters announce "I love you" to each other. In most Native American oral traditions, it isn't typical for a storyteller to have serious
characters talk or think aloud about how they are feeling-- a character's emotions are usually shown through actions, not by monologues. So just as
Native American storytellers are more likely to describe a character crying than feeling sad or saying "I am sad," characters are also more likely to
show their love through actions-- either positive actions such as sacrificing for the other person, going to great lengths to be together, or forgiving each
other after a transgression, or sometimes negative actions such as jealous attacks or obsessive behavior. In classic American Indian love
stories, the word "love" may never even be mentioned, but both the man and the woman will be observed to take at least one direct action to choose
Of course, modern Native American storytellers telling stories in English will sometimes choose to converse with the audience more than they
might have in their native languages, so you sometimes will indeed hear Native American authors describing their heroes and heroines falling in love.
But if you're reading older texts and you wonder why they seem so unromantic to your ears... try listening for the things the characters do for each other, not
what they have to say about it!