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Makah Indian Legends

This is our collection of links to Makah 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 Makahs, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Nootka and Kwakiutl tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Makah Mythological Figures

Hohoeapbess (also spelled Ho-ho-e-ap-bess, or the Two Men Who Changed Things): Twin Transformer characters, brothers of the sun and moon, who brought balance to the world by using their powers to change people, animals, and the landscape into the forms they have today.

Raven: Raven is the culture hero of the Makah and other Northwest Coast tribes. He is a benevolent figure who helps the people, but at the same time, he is also a trickster spirit and many Raven stories have to do with his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble.

Basket Ogress (Sxwayo'k!u, Sxwaysh'klu, or Sxwayok in the Makah language): A giant cannibal monster who catches human children and carries them off in her enormous pack basket.

Makah Indian Folklore

*When the Animals and Birds Were Created:
    Makah creation myth about Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things.
*Children Stolen by Cannibal Basket Woman:
    Makah version of a classic Northwest Coast story about a child who defeats an ogress.
*Makah Tsunami Legend:
    Makah legend about a massive tidal wave.
*Weather Myths of Cascadia:
    Stories from the Quileute, Klallam, and Makah tribes.
*Legends and Folklore of the Northern Lights:
    Aurora Borealis stories from the Inuit, Kwakiutl, and Makah tribes.
*Little People of Oregon and Washington:
    Stories about the legendary little people of the Makah and other Northwestern tribes.

Recommended Books on Makah Mythology
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Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest:
    Collection of legends and folktales from the Makah and other northwestern tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Makah tribe
 Makah language
 Native American folklore
 Indian culture and beliefs
 Washington State Indians
 Native American Northwest Coast
 Pacific Northwest artwork
 Wakashan language family
 Native Americans facts

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