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Native American Legends: The Twin Heroes (or God Boys)

Name: The Twin Heroes
Tribal affiliation: Crow, Assiniboine, Hidatsa, Arapaho, Ho-Chunk, Sauk, Menominee, Caddo
Also known as: God Boys, Divine Boys, Crazy Ones, Daatsgye, Dakadutska, Coninisí, Coneneses, Coninisi, Cononici
Type: Heroes, magical twins
Related figures in other tribes: Twin Gods (Iroquois), Monster Slaying Twins (Navajo)

The Twin Heroes or God Boys are mythical twins from the folklore of the Midwestern and Plains Indian tribes. The specifics of the myth vary from tribe to tribe, but overall, it concerns a pair of magical twins who were born when their pregnant mother was killed by a monster or a violent relative. Twins were considered a powerful and dangerous occurrence in many cultures of this region, and the Twin Heroes were additionally ripped from their mother's womb, another portentous event. Consequently, the two had strong magical powers.

Upon their birth, the twins were separated-- their mother's killer left one of them in a location where he could be easily be found by his father (or uncle), and hid the other deep in the wilderness somewhere, so that one boy grew up civilized and the other wild. Eventually they are reunited, avenge their mother's death, and go on to have monster-slaying adventures.

The Twin Heroes share many similarities in the mythology of different tribes, but they also have many differences, particularly their relationships with other mythological figures, their associations with stars or animal spirits, and the nature of the particular adventures they go on. In some versions of the epic the "civilized" twin is a moral person while the "wild" twin is wicked; in others, they have different personalities but are both generally benevolent heroes.

Pairs of Hero Twins in different Plains and Midwestern tribes include:

*Curtain Boy and Spring Boy (Crow)
*Dore and Wahredwa (Ioway)
*Drinks Brains and Long Teeth (Arikara)
*Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away (Hidatsa)
*Village Boy and Wild Boy (Caddo)

Twin Hero Stories

*Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away:
    Crow legend about the two mythical brothers.
*The Twin Brothers * The Brothers Who Became Lightning And Thunder:
    Caddo legends about the mythical twin heros.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Stories
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From the Heart of the Crow Country:
    Legends, traditional stories, and oral history narrated by a Crow elder.
Myths and Traditions of the Crow Indians:
    Classic collection of Crow legends and folklore.

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Additional Resources

 Native Americans of the Plains
 Crow Indians
 Ho-Chunk Indians
 Caddo Indians
 Assiniboine Indians
 Siouan language family

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