Native Languages of the Americas: Powhatan Indian Legends
This is our collection of links to Powhatan folktales and traditional stories 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
story 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 Algonquian tribes of Virginia, the traditional stories of
neighboring tribes like the Catawba and
Tuscarora tribes are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Powhatan legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please contact us and let us know.
Click on each character's name for more detailed information about his or her role in Powhatan mythology.
Ahone (also known as Rawottonemd):
The great creator god of the Powhatan tribe, sometimes known as the Great Spirit or Creator in English. Like most Algonquian
high deities, Ahone appears to have been an abstract, benevolent creating spirit who was not personified in folklore
(and probably did not have a gender.) Christian missionaries arrived early to the Powhatan tribe and had a large influence on
their culture, causing Ahone to become equated with the Christian God and take on the masculine English pronoun "he."
Okeus (also known as Oke, Oki, Okee, etc):
Another of the principal gods of the Powhatan Confederacy. Little is known about him except that he was often
associated with war and that unlike Ahone, offerings and supplications were frequently made to him. Some contemporary
Virginia Algonquian people believe that Ahone and Okeus were one and the same, and that there was simply a difference in
names and worship styles because of the many different small tribes that belonged to the Powhatan Confederacy.