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Native Languages of the Americas:
Nootka Legends, Myths, and Stories
This is our collection of links to Nootka folktales and traditional stories that can be read online.
We have indexed our Native American myths 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 Nootka tribe, the traditional stories of
related tribes like the Kwakiutl
and Bella Bella are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Nootka legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please let us know.
Kwe'kustepsep (also spelled Kwi:kwistupsap and other ways):
Twin Transformer figures, who brought balance to the
world by using their powers to change people, animals, and the landscape into the forms they have today.
Raven is the culture hero of the Nootka myths.
He is a revered and benevolent figure who helps the people,
but at the same time, he is also a trickster character and many Nootka stories about Raven have to do with
his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble.
Mink is another Nootka trickster character. Indeed, some of Raven's more light-hearted adventures are sometimes told with
Mink as the protagonist instead. However, compared with Raven, Mink is a more negative character who primarily embodies
traits that are looked down upon by the Nootka people (greed, recklessness, arrogance, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene,
etc.) Nootka legends about Mink are often humorous, but also are cautionary tales about how not to behave.
Woman of the Woods (also called the Basket Ogress):
A giant cannibal woman who catches human children and carries them off in her enormous pack basket.
Story of the Nootka spirit monster Matlose.
Raven Annoys Octopus:
Nootka legend about Raven the trickster learning his lesson about pestering Octopus.
Mythology of the Nootkas:
Early 20th-century collection of Nootka legends.
Recommended Books on Nootka Myth
Tsawalk: A Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview:
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links
Excellent book about Nuu-chah-nulth mythology and traditions.
Nootka religion and expressive traditions
Native American Indian beliefs
British Columbia Native culture
Native Northwest Coast
Pacific Northwest art exhibit
Native American culture groups
Learn more about the Nootka tribe
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