Indigenous groups * Native tribes map * What's new on our site today!

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

This is our collection of links to Shoshone 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 the Shoshones, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Comanche and Ute tribes are very similar.

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

Sponsored Links

Important Shoshone Mythological Figures

Issa/Wolf: Creator and culture hero of Shoshone mythology. Like other figures from the Shoshone mythic age, Wolf is usually represented as a man, but sometimes takes on the literal form of a wolf.

Coyote: Wolf's younger brother, Coyote is a trickster figure. Though he often assists his brother and sometimes even does good deeds for the people, Coyotes behavior is so irresponsible and frivolous that he is constantly getting himself and those around him into trouble.

Nimerigar: A violent race of magical little people who were said to kill and eat people.

Water Baby: Mysterious and dangerous water spirits from the mythology of the Shoshone and other Western Indian tribes, water babies inhabit springs and ponds, and are usually described as water fairies who lead humans to a watery grave by mimicking the sounds of crying babies at night. Sometimes they are said to kill babies and take their place as changelings in order to attack their unsuspecting mothers. Water babies and their eerie cries are considered an omen of death in many Shsohone communities.

Shoshone Indian Folklore

*Western Shoshoni Myths:
    Collection of Shoshoni Indian myths and legends.
*Wolf Tricks the Trickster:
    Shoshoni legend about the origin of death.
*The White Trail In The Sky:
    Shoshone legend about the exile of Grey Bear.
*Queen of Death Valley:
    Shoshone legend about an ancient queen's wickedness.
*The Wolf, the Fox, the Bobcat and the Cougar:
    Legend about four animal spirits that helped the Shoshone-Bannocks defeat the warlike Little People.

Recommended Books of Shoshone Myths
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

Pachee Goyo: History and Legends from the Shoshone:
    Collection of Shoshone legends and oral history.
Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies:
    Anthology of folklore from the Shoshone and other Great Basin tribes.

Sponsored Links

Additional Resources

 Shoshone religion and expressive traditions
 Indian traditions and beliefs
 Shoshoni Indian tribe
 Shoshone language
 Indian tribes of Idaho
 The Great Basin
 Uto Aztecan Indians
 North American tribes list

Learn more about the Shoshone tribe.
Back to our spirit animals page
Read a North American Indian book

Indian crafts * South American tribes * Gwich'in tribe * Tribal tattoo art

Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?

Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2020 * Contacts and FAQ page