Native Languages of the Americas: Southeast American Indian Legends
This is our collection of links to Southeast Indian 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
legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to
each other. On this page, we have included myths and legends from the
and Natchez tribes.
These tribes of the Southeastern Woodlands are culturally distinct but do share many cultural similarities, including much of their folklore.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Native Southeastern legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please let us know.
Click on each character's name for more detailed information about his or her role in Southeastern Indian mythology.
Trickster Rabbit (Jisdu or Chokfi):
Rabbit is the trickster figure in the folklore of many Southeastern tribes, especially the Cherokee and Muskogean tribes.
Little People (Yunwi Tsunsdi, Kowi Anukasha, etc):
Stories about races of small magical people are popular in the legends of most Southeast Native Americans.
Although these little people can be dangerous, they are not usually violent unless provoked and sometimes help distressed humans or
bestow powers on people who treat them kindly.
A giant cannibal monster common to southeastern Indian legends. Modern people in the Alabama and Koasati tribes identify them with elephants;
some people believe stories about them may have been based on fossils or prehistoric depictions of mammoths. In other southeast tribes, Big Man-Eater is
described as a big cat or a giant humanoid.
Tlanuwa: Giant mythological birds of prey with impenetrable
metal feathers, common to the mythology of many Southeastern tribes. Their Cherokee name is pronounced
Tie-Snakes. These are mythological water spirits common
to the folklore of Southeastern tribes. They are the size and shape of an ordinary snake, but have immense strength.
Tie-Snakes were said to live underwater and were feared for their ability to catch humans and drag them underwater to drown.
Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away (or Lodge Boy and Wild Boy.)
These mythical twins, born when their pregnant mother was killed by a monster, are common to the folklore of many Midwestern and Eastern tribes.
Particularly in the Southeastern tribes, they are generally portrayed as rowdy monster-slayers who cause a lot of trouble during the
course of their adventures.