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Native American Legends: Hinon (Hinun, Hinu, Hino')

Name: Hinon
Tribal affiliation: Iroquois
Alternate spellings: Hino', Hine, Heno, Henon, Hinu, Hinun, Henoh, Hinen, Heynuh, Hinnon, Hihnon
Pronunciation: hee-noon, hee-noan, or hee-nun, depending on the tribe
Also known as: Grandfather, Thunder Chief, Rain Old Man
Type: Thunder god, nature spirit
Related figures in other tribes: Thunderbird, Nimki, Thunderer

Hinon is the Iroquois thunder god. He is the eldest brother and leader of the winged race of Thunders, magical beings who live in the sky and cause thunder and lightning. Although the Thunders are dangerous and their gaze can bring death to mortal men, they usually play a positive role in Iroquois legends and spirituality and are typically portrayed as honorable and fair. Hinon is the sworn enemy of the horned serpent Oniare, and often rescues people from the serpent. Hinon is usually described as an ally of the culture hero Sky-Holder, and in a few accounts, is a third brother of Sky-Holder and Flint. He is typically depicted as a winged man, although he is sometimes said to shapeshift in form between a human and a giant bird. In some stories he has taken Iroquois women as wives and produced demigod children. Some Iroquois people, particularly the Senecas, refer to Hinon as "Grandfather," and the high god Hahgwehdiyu may be one of his aspects.

Hinon Stories

*The Girl Who Was Not Satisfied With Simple Things * Thunder Destroys Horned Snake:
    Iroquois legends about Heno the Thunderer rescuing a girl from the horned serpents.
*The Four Thunders:
    Story of a mistreated teenager who became a Thunder's wife.
*The Thunder Boy:
    The story of Híno'Hoháwank, son of the thunder god Hino.
*Rain-Old-Man and the Horned Snake:
    Seneca legend about Henon giving three Seneca men storm power to kill a horned serpent.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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Maiden of the Mist: A Legend of Niagara Falls:
    Children's book based on the Seneca legend of Lelawala and Hinu.
Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois:
    Wonderful illustrated collection of Iroquois Indian legends, by two Native authors.
Iroquois Indian Myths And Legends:
    Traditional stories from the Iroquois tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Iroquois legends
 Iroquois tribes
 Oneida Indians
 Tuscarora Indians
 New York Native Americans
 The Eastern Woodlands
 Iroquoian language group

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