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Native Languages of the Americas:
Navajo Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Navajo stories and folktales that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American folklore section by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to each other. In particular, though these legends come from the Navajo tribe, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Apache and Pueblo tribes are very similar.

Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Navajo legend for this page or think one of the ones on here should be removed, please let us know.

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Important Navajo Mythological Figures

Anaye: The Anaye were monstrous beings of the mythic age who feature often in heroic Navajo legends. They included hairy headless Thelgeth/Theelgeth, carnivorous antelope Delgeth, feathered Tsenahale/Tse'na'hale, and limbless twins Binaye Ahani. A few Anaye are said to have survived to the present day, and those are Old Age, Poverty, Cold, and Famine.

Navajo Indian Legends

*Navajo Myths:
    Collection of Navajo legends and folktales.
*Navajo Creation Story The Navajo Creation * Coyote Helps Create Man * First Man and First Woman * The Five Worlds:
    Navajo myths about the creation of the world.
*Diyin Dine'é (Sacred Ones):
    Short overview of the major Navajo mythological figures.
*Changing Woman * At The Rainbow's End:
    Legends about the Navajo goddess Changing Woman (Asdzaa nádleehé).
*Coyote Kills A Giant:
    Navajo legend about the trickster Coyote slaying a giant.
*Song of the Horses:
    19th-century Navajo legend about the horses of the sun god.
*Spider Rock:
    Navajo legend about the origin of Spider Rock.
*Story of the Two Brother-Cousins * Monster Slayer and Yé'iitsoh * Rock Monster Eagle and Monster Slayer:
    Navajo stories about the children of Changing Woman and their adventures slaying monsters.
*The Sun, Moon and Stars:
    Navajo legend about the origin of the heavenly bodies.
*Legend of the Night Chant:
    Navajo myth about the origin of the Kieje Hatal ceremony.
*The Boy Who Became A God:
    Navajo legend about a boy who could understand the animals.
*Little Dawn Boy And The Rainbow Trail:
    Navajo story about a mythical boy and his adventures.
*The Navajo And The Astronaut:
    This is a funny modern folk story about a Navajo man sending a message to the moon.
*Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest:
    Online book about Southwest and California Indian mythology.

Recommended Books on Navajo Mythology

Pollen Path:
    Collection of Navajo myths and legends.
And It Is Still That Way:
    Charming anthology of legends told by Navajo and other Arizona Indian children.
Day and Night:
    Bilingual children's book illustrating a Navajo legend about how night and day began.
Frog Brings Rain:
    Children's book illustrating the Navajo legend of how Frog saved the first people from a great fire.
How The Stars Fell Into The Sky:
    Picture book illustrating the Navajo myth about the creation of the stars.
*The Stone Cutter and the Navajo Maiden:
    Lovely children's book about the importance of the sacred corn-grinding stone to Navajo culture.
Sunpainters: Eclipse of the Navajo Sun:
    Beautifully illustrated book by a Native artist about the significance of a solar eclipse to a Navajo family.
The Magic of Spider Woman:
    Picture book based on Navajo legends about Spider Woman and the art of rug weaving.
Ziiniyah: How The Corn Was Saved:
    Picture book illustrating a legend about a brave Navajo boy who goes on a quest to save his people's crops.
American Indian Trickster Tales:
    Compilation of more than a hundred stories about Coyote and other Native American tricksters.
    (Use discretion sharing these with kids as some of the stories contain adult humor.)

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Additional Resources

 Navajo religion
 Navajo religion and expressive traditions
 Books of Native American legends
 Native American spirituality
 Arizona Indian tribes
 Southwestern Native Americans
 Southwestern crafts
 Navajo culture
 American Indians culture

Back to the American Indian animal spirit guide
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Learn more about the Navajo tribe.

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