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

This is our collection of links to Shasta folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American mythology 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 Shasta mythology, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Karok and Achomawi tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Shasta Mythological Figures

Chareya: The great creator god of Shasta legends, often called Old Man Above or Great Man in English.

Coyote: The culture hero of the Shasta tribe. In some Shasta stories, Coyote plays the mischievous trickster role common in California Indian folklore, but in others, he is a more serious protagonist who helps humanity and teaches them the arts of civilization.

Shasta Indian Folklore

*Old Mole's Creation * How Old Man Above Created The World:
    Shasta myths of creation.
*How Coyote Stole Fire:
    Shasta legend about the origin of fire.
*Why Mount Shasta Erupted:
    Shasta legend about a fight between Coyote and the Yellow Jackets.
*Land of the Ghost Dance:
    Shasta legend about Coyote's visit to the land of the dead.
*Mt. Shasta Grizzly Legend * Old Man Above And The Grizzlies:
    Shasta Indian legends about a woman who married a bear.
*How The People Got Arrowheads:
    Shasta legend about how Ground Squirrel stole arrowheads.

Recommended Books of Shasta Myths

Coyote Was Going There: Indian Literature of the Oregon Country:
    Excellent anthology of folklore from the Shasta and other Oregon tribes.
Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest:
    Collection of legends and folktales from the Shasta and other northwestern tribes.
*Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest:
    Online book about Southwest and California Indian mythology.
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

 Shasta religion and expressive traditions
 The Religion of the Indians of California
 Books of Native American legends
 Native religion
 Native American tribes in California
 California culture area
 Hokan people
 Shasta history
 Native American Indian tribe



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