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Native Languages of the Americas:
Luiseno Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Luiseno folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American stories section by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to each other. In particular, though these legends come from the Luisenos, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Cahuilla and Gabrielino tribes are very similar.

Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Luiseno legend for this page or think one of the ones on here should be removed, please let us know.

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Luiseno Mythological Figures

Wiyot (also spelled Owiyot, Wiyo't, Wyot, Uuyot, Uu-yot, Ouiot, Wy-ot, and other ways): The legendary first chief of humanity and culture hero of the Luisenos. He died after Frog poisoned him (either because he inadvertantly insulted her or because he had become a bad ruler, depending on the version of the story being told). He later rose from the dead to become the moon, at which point he was sometimes also known as Moyla or Moila (literally "Moon.")

Chingichngish (also spelled Chung-itch'-nish or Chin-ig-chin-ich): The main god worshipped by the Luisenos, who rose to prominence after the death of Wiyot. He taught the people morality and the arts of civilization before departing for the stars, where he is still considered to be watching over the Mission Indians today.

Water Babies: Mysterious and dangerous water spirits from Luiseno folklore. They inhabit springs and ponds, and they and their eerie cries are omens of bad luck and death.

Luiseno Indian Stories

*Luiseno Origin Story * A Saboba Origin-Myth:
    Luiseno myths about the creation of the world.
*The Pauma Luiseño Story of Dakwish:
    Luiseno folktale about a cannibal monster.
*Before This Land:
    Luiseno myth about the great flood.
*Tauquitch (Tahquitz) * The Legend of Tauquitch and Algoot * The Legend of Tahquitz:
    Cahuilla and Luiseno legends about an evil chief and his heroic son.
*Dance of the Dead:
    Luiseno story about ghost dancers.
*Mythology of the Mission Indians:
    Online book of Luiseno and other Mission Indian myths and legends.

Recommended Books on Luiseno Mythology

Surviving Through the Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs:
    Anthology of myths and traditional literature from the Luiseno and other Native California tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Luiseno religion and expressive traditions
 The Religion of the Indians of California
 Luiseno words
 Books of Native American legends
 Native American beliefs
 California Native Americans
 California culture area
 Uto-Aztecan tribes
 Luiseno culture
 Indian peoples



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