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Native American Rainbow Mythology

Rainbows play a variety of roles in Native American mythology, ranging from the spiritual to the whimsical. In Navajo tradition, the rainbow is the path of the Yei (holy spirits), and is frequently depicted in sacred sandpaintings. In Cherokee folklore, the rainbow is said to be the border of the sun's coat. The Rainbow is also used as a clan crest in some Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Haida.

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Native American Rainbow Gods and Spirits

*Amitolane (Zuni)
*Chuchaviva (Chibcha)

Native American Legends About Rainbows

Achomawi Myth:
    Native American legend from Northern California telling the story of the first rainbow.
The Rainbow:
    Algonquin Indian legend about the origin of the rainbow.
*Rainbow Crow * Mānāka'has, the Rainbow Crow:
    Lenni Lenape myths about Crow bringing fire to the people.
*Spider Woman and Coyote:
    Achumawi story about the origin of the first rainbow.
*When The Rainbow Was Torn:
    Tejas legend telling how the cactus flowers became colorful.
*Ababinili and the Humans:
    Chickasaw myth about the Creator assigning the Rainbow and other elements roles to play in the lives of the people.
*Why The Leaves Have Many Colors: * Rainbow and the Autumn Leaves:
    A Huron legend about the Rainbow being a bridge to the sky world.

Recommended Books of Rainbow Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Rainbow Crow:
    Picture book based on a Lenape legend about Crow sacrificing his rainbow colors to save his friends.
The Rainbow Bridge:
    Children's book illustrating the Chumash creation and migration legends, in which the people cross a rainbow to reach the mainland.
Weather Legends: Native American Lore and Science of Weather:
    Collection of weather myths from various tribes, including a chapter on rainbows.
The Rainbow Bridge: Rainbows in Art, Myth, and Science:
    Interesting book on the role of rainbows in world mythology, including North and Central America.



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