American Indian language
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Native American Legends: Jogah
(Jokao, Gahongas, Drum Dancers, Stone Throwers)
Tribal affiliation: Mohawk, Tuscarora, Cayuga, Seneca
Also known as: Jogaoh, Jo-ga-oh, Jo-ge-oh, Jokao, Jungies, Jogeon, Djogeon, 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;
Enkwehsayen, En-kwe-shu-i-yen, Ogwe's-ha-i;
Gandayah, Gandayak, Gendayah;
Stone-Throwers, Stone-Rollers, Drum-Dancers
Type: Little people, 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
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.
The Gifts of the Little People:
Iroquois stories about the Jo-Ge-Oh.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois:
Wonderful illustrated collection of Iroquois Indian legends, by two Native authors.
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.
People of the Longhouse
Iroquois Indian legends
Cayuga Indian words
Mohawk Indian words
New York State Native
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