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Legendary Native American Figures: Yamozha (Yamoria)

Name: Yamozha
Also spelled: Yamoza, Yamoria, Yamozhah, Yabatheya, Yamohdeyi, Yamba Deja, Zhambadezha, Yampa Deja, Yabatheya, Old Man, Wanderer
Tribal affiliation: Chipewyan, Dogrib, South Slavey
Pronunciation: varies by language: in Tlicho/Dogrib it is yah-moh-zhah, in Dene/Chipewyan it is yah-moh-ree-ah, in Slavey yahm-bah-day-zhah.
Type: Culture hero, transformer, creator god
Related figures in other tribes: Seu'ku (Alsea), Cikla (Chinook)

Yamozha is the benevolent culture hero of the Dene tribes (sometimes referred to as a "transformer" by folklorists.) He is generally portrayed as a heroic monster-slayer and friend to mankind, though there are some stories about him that are humorous in nature. Frequently he uses his cleverness rather than his strength to defeat his enemies, at which point he either kills them or transforms them into something harmless. His name literally means "traveler" or "wanderer."

Yamozha Stories

*Yamozhah and Nogha:
    A Dogrib legend about Yamozhah and Wolverine.
*Yamozha Kills The Giant Beavers:
    Dogrib story about Yamozha's hunting trip.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Yamozha and His Beaver Wife:
    Bilingual retelling of a Dogrib legend, illustrated by a Dogrib artist.
Yamoria the Lawmaker: Stories of the Dene:
    Legends and oral history told by a Dene Tha (Slavey) elder.
Chipewyan Tales:
    Collection of Chipewyan legends and folktales.

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Additional Resources

 Northern Passage
 Dene legends
 Dene language
 Dogrib language
 Northwest Territories First Nations
 Subarctic region
 Athabascan languages



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