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Native Languages of the Americas:
Powhatan Indian Legends

This is our collection of links to Powhatan Indian myths, 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 let us know.

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Important Powhatan Mythological Figures

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 Powhatan myths (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.

Powhatan Indian Folklore

*Why The Indians Have So Many Tribes:
    A Virginia Algonquian legend about the origin of the tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Native American religion today
 Powhatan Confederacy
 Powhatan language
 Indian tribes of Virginia
 Woodland Indians
 Algonkian language family
 Native American tribes map

Learn more about the Powhatan tribe.
Learn some Powhatan words
Read some American Indian short stories

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