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Native American Legends: Jogah
(Jokao, Gahongas, Drum Dancers, Stone Throwers)

Name: Jogah
Tribal affiliation: Mohawk, Cayuga, Tuscarora, Seneca
Pronunciation: joe-gah
Also known as: Jogaoh, Jo-ga-oh, Jo-ge-oh, Jokao, Jungies, Jogeon, Djogeon, Dzögä:ö', Jongä'on, Dzogeon, Jagahoh, Jeh-geh-oh, Ja-gen-oh, Jigahenh, Che-kah-ha-wha, Giket-on; Gahonga, Gahongas, Gahunga; Ohdow, Ohdows, Ohdowa, Ohdowas, Ohdanwa, Ohdanwas; Yakonenyoya'ks, Yagodinenyoyak, Yah-ko-nen-us-yoks, Shakotinenyoya'ks; Tehotikal:luhe'; Nye:no's'a:'; Enkwehsayen, En-kwe-shu-i-yen, Ogwe's-ha-i; Gandayah, Gandayak, Gendayah; Stone-Throwers, Stone-Rollers, Drum-Dancers
Type: Dwarves, nature spirits
Related figures in other tribes: Nunne'hi (Cherokee), Mannegishi (Cree), Puckwudgies (Algonquin)

The Jogah, or Jungies, are a race of small humanoid nature spirits from Iroquois folklore, sometimes referred to in English as "dwarves" or "pygmies." They are usually invisible but sometimes reveal themselves to humans, particularly to children, elders, and medicine people. In most tribes, the Jogah are described as being knee-high, although Tuscarora little people are said to be four feet tall. Often they are associated with the thunder god Hinun, who is said to be their grandfather. The Jogah may play tricks, and might even be dangerous to people who disrespect them or their natural home, but they are generally friendly towards the Iroquois, and will sometimes do favors for people who leave tobacco or other offerings for them.

There are several different types of Jogah or little people that appear in Iroquois folklore. Gahongas (Stone Throwers or Stone Rollers) are earth spirits who live on rocky riverbanks and caves. They are enormously strong and are responsible for moving rocks around the countryside. Gandayah or Drum Dancers are nature spirits, who often help respectful Iroquois farmers with their crops. They got the name "Drum Dancers" because they are always invisible, so only the sound of their drums signalled their presence to the Iroquois. Ohdows are gnomes that live underground and keep snakes and subterranean monsters under control.

Jogah Stories

*The Gifts of the Little People:
    Iroquois stories about the Jo-Ge-Oh.

Sponsored Links

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois:
    Wonderful illustrated collection of Iroquois Indian legends, by two Native authors.
The Deetkatoo:
    Traditional tales about Jogah and other little people from 14 different Native American tribes.
Legends, Traditions and Laws of the Iroquois or Six Nations:
    Iroquois mythology and oral history told by a 19th-century Tuscarora chief.

Additional Resources

 Iroquois Indian legends
 Iroquois Confederation
 Mohawk tribe
 Seneca tribe
 New York State Native
 Woodlands tribes
 Iroquois language

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