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

This is our collection of links to Tuscarora 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, so you may also want to visit our page comparing the stories from the Iroquois tribes (which include the Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Mohawk Indians), since the mythology of those tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Tuscarora Mythological Figures

Sky-Woman: The mother goddess of Tuscarora mythology, said to have fallen through a hole in the sky.

Right-Handed and Left-Handed Twins: Sky Woman's twin sons or grandsons, creators of humankind. Right-Handed Twin (often called Good Spirit or Good Mind, Ka'tikenhrakwahst in Tuscarora), was the benefactor of the Tuscaroras, slew monsters and created many things to help the people; his brother Left-Handed Twin (often called Bad Spirit or Bad Mind, Ka'tikenhra:ksen in Tuscarora) was evil and caused destruction.

Sky-Holder (Tharenhyawa:ken, in Tuscarora): The high god of Tuscarora mythology, a benevolent teacher and caretaker of the world. In many Iroquois communities Sky-Holder is considered the same entity as Good Spirit, but among the Tuscaroras, they are usually considered to be distinct.

The Thunders: Powerful storm spirits who live in the sky and cause thunder and lightning. Their leader is the thunder god Hine (also known as Hinen or Heynuh,) a divine ally of Good Spirit known to protect people from water monsters.

Onata: Spirit of the Corn, an important fertility goddess and one of the Three Sisters of Tuscarora agriculture.

Stone Throwers (Enkwehsayen, in Tuscarora): Little people of Tuscarora folklore. They are dwarf-like nature spirits about 2 feet tall.

Stone-Coat (Thunenhyarhen, in Tuscarora): Mythological giant of the Iroquois tribes, with skin as hard as stone.

Flying-Head (Kunenhrayenhnenh, in Tuscarora): Monster in the form of a giant disembodied head, usually created during a particularly violent murder.

Naked-Bear (Uya'kwaher, in Tuscarora): A giant, hairless bear monster. Some people associate them with mammoths.

Hoop Snake (Ti'karenweh, in Tuscarora): Mythological water spirit the size and shape of an ordinary snake, but with immense strength. In Tuscarora stories, Hoop Snakes lived underwater and were feared for their ability to catch humans and drag them underwater to drown.

The Peacemaker and Hiawatha: The legendary founders of the Iroquois Confederacy and architects of the Great Law.

Godasiyo: Legendary female chief of the Tuscarora tribe.

Tuscarora Indian Folklore

*The Corn Spirit:
    Tuscarora legend about learning proper respect for the corn.
*The Great Father Mosquito:
    Tuscarora version of a typical Iroquois legend about the origin of mosquitos.

Recommended Books on Tuscarora Myth
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Legends, Traditions and Laws of the Iroquois:
    Collection of Tuscarora legends and oral history narrated by a 19th-century Tuscarora chief.
Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois:
    Wonderful illustrated collection of Iroquois legends by two Native authors.

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Additional Resources

 Tuscarora religion and expressive traditions
 Native spiritual beliefs
 Tuscarora Indians
 Iroquoian languages
 North Carolina Indian tribes
 Southeastern Indian culture
 Iroquois Indians
 Facts about the Native Americans

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