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

This is our collection of links to Miwok folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Indian 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 Miwoks, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Ohlone and Pomo tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Miwok Mythological Figures

Silver Fox and Coyote: Silver Fox and Coyote are the culture heroes of the Miwok and other Northern California tribes. Together they create the world and teach the people how to live. Although both are creators, Silver Fox is the more serious and wise of the two, while Coyote is more of a trickster and prone to make frivolous decisions based on whims, hunger, or interest in women. Both creators are male in some tribal traditions, but in Miwok mythology, Silver Fox is portrayed as female.

Miwok Indian Folklore

*Miwok Myths:
    Collection of Miwok myths and legends.
*Myths and Legends of the Yosemite Valley:
    Online book of Miwok legends from Yosemite.
*Miwok Creation Myth * Dawn of the World:
    Miwok myths about the origin of the world.
*The Coming of Thunder * Origin of Thunder and Lightning * Beginning of Thunder * The Thunder Fawns:
    Tah'-low the Thunder and Tah'-kip' the Lightning * Bear and the Fawns * Oo-soo'-ma-te and Ut-too'-yah:
    The Bear and the Fawns:
    Miwok versions of a typical California Indian legend about a fight between a bear family and a deer family.
How Tol-le-loo Stole Fire:
    Miwok legend about Mouse stealing fire from Robin.
*Tu-tok-a-na * Tu-tok-a-nu-la And Tis-sa-ack * Tis-sa-ack: * How Half-Dome Was Formed:
    Miwok stories about El Capitan and Half Dome.
*The Legend Of Yo-sem-i-te: * Origin of Yosemite:
    The story of Tenaya and the Yosemite Indians.
*Legend of the Fish-Women:
    A Miwok folktale about mermaids.
*Bridal Veil Fall:
    Miwok story of Bridal Veil Falls.
*Leaping Frog Rocks:
    Origin of the Kom-po-pai-ses.
*The Legend Of Pi-wy-ack * The Legend Of Loi-ya * Legend of the Lost Arrow:
    Miwok stories from The Lore and Lure of Yosemite.
*Mythology of the California Tribes:
    Early 20th-century collection of Miwok and other California Indian legends.
*Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest:
    Online book about Southwest and California Indian mythology.

Recommended Books on Miwok Mythology
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*The Growing Rock: A Native American Tale:
    Picture book based on a Miwok legend about a magical rock that teaches responsibility.
Surviving Through the Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs:
    Anthology of myths and traditional literature from the Miwok and other Native California tribes.
American Indian Trickster Tales:
    Compilation of more than a hundred stories about Coyote and other Native American tricksters.
    (Use discretion sharing these with kids as some of the stories contain adult humor.)

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Additional Resources

 Miwok religion and expressive traditions
 American Indian folklore
 American Indian belief
 Miwok tribe
 Miwok language
 California American Indians
 Native California
 Penutian language
 North American Indian cultures

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