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Native Languages of the Americas:
Ponca Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Ponca stories and folktales that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American legends 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 Poncas, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Osage and Omaha tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Ponca Mythological Figures

Ictinike (also spelled Ishtinike. Sometimes he is called the Monkey in recent translations.) Ictinike is the Trickster figure of the Omaha and Ponca tribes. Ictinike was the son of the Sun God, but due to his bad behavior was exiled to earth, where he had many adventures and got in every imaginable kind of trouble.

Wakonda: The great Creator power of Ponca mythology. Originally Wakanda was an abstract creative force who was never personified in Ponca legends, but after the introduction of Christianity some Native people began using it as the Ponca name of God.

Hare: A culture hero of the Ponca tribe, associated with the rabbit.

Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away. These magical twins whose mother was killed by a monster are common to the mythology of many Midwestern and Eastern tribes. They are generally portrayed as heroic monster-slayers in Ponca legends.

Two Face (or Double-Face or Two-Faced.) A man-eating ogre with a face on each side of his head.

Nida: Mammoth beast of Ponca folklore.

Ponca Indian Folklore

*Tradition of the Finding of Horses:
    Ponca legend about the coming of horses to their tribe.
*Coyote and Gray Fox:
    Ponca folktale about Coyote's greed getting him into trouble.

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Additional Resources

 Ponca religion and expressive traditions
 Native American religion today
 Omaha-Ponca language
 Ponca Indians
 Nebraska Indian reservations
 Plains Natives
 Siouan language group
 Native American tribes in the West

Learn more about the Ponca tribe.
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