American Indian language * American Indian culture information * Facts for Kids

Native American Monkey Mythology

Monkeys are common characters in the folklore of Mexican, Central American, and South American Indian tribes. Most often monkeys appear as trickster characters, using their cleverness to outwit other animals, humans, or even monsters. In the mythology of some South American tribes, Monkey is a more serious figure whose curiosity or misbehavior brings woe to humanity.

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Monkeys are also used as clan animals in some Central and South American Indian cultures. Some South American tribes, such as the Guajiro and Yagua, have howler monkey clans, and some of the Chibchan tribes of Central America, such as the Bribri, had spider monkey clans.

Native American Monkey Gods and Spirits

Iwarrika (Akawaio)
Monkey People (Ahtna)
Ozomatli (Aztec)

Native American Legends About Monkeys

*Fox and Monkey Story:
    Aymara story about the clever trickster Monkey outwitting his rival Fox.
*Acawai Flood Myth:
    Akawaio legend about a monkey whose greed caused a world flood.
*The Lost Timber Spirits:
    Caddo legends about ghost monkeys created by improper burial in the early days of the world.

Recommended Books of Monkey Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
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Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian animal tales for children, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

Back to Animals myths
Back to our South American legends page
Back to Trickster tales

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