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Native Languages of the Americas:
Wiyot Indian Legends

This is our collection of links to Wiyot 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. In particular, though these legends come from the Wiyots, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Yurok and Hupa tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Wiyot Mythological Figures

Gudatrigakwitl: This means "The Ancient One Above" in the Wiyot language, and is the Wiyot name for the Creator (God.) Gudatrigakwitl is a divine spirit with no human form or attributes and is never personified in Wiyot myths.

Gatswokwire (also known as Rakshuatlaketl.) Gatswokwire is the benevolent culture hero of Wiyot mythology (sometimes referred to as a "transformer" by folklorists.) He shares some similarities with other Algonquian heroes such as the Wabanaki Gluskap, Anishinabe Nanaboozhoo, and Cree Whiskeyjack, and some of the same stories are told in eastern Algonquian tribes with only the identity of the protagonist differing.

Wiyot Indian Folklore

*Gudatrigakwitl and the Creation:
    Wiyot creation myth.
*Why Owl Lives in the Dark:
    Wiyot story about Owl not being a good family man.

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Additional Resources

 Wiyot religion and expressive traditions
 The Religion of the Indians of California
 Books of Native American legends
 Wiyot words
 Native beliefs
 Northern California tribes
 California cultural area
 Wiyot culture
 The Native Americans

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