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Native Languages of the Americas:
Yana Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Yana stories and folktales that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American folktales section by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same story 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 Yanas, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Achumawi and Maidu tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Yana Mythological Figures

Silver Fox and Coyote: Silver Fox and Coyote are the culture heroes of Yana mythology Together they create the world and teach the people how to live. Although both are creators, Silver Fox is the more serious and wise of the two, while Coyote is more of a trickster spirit and prone to make frivolous decisions based on whims, hunger, or interest in women. Silver Fox is female in the traditions of some neighboring tribes, but in Yana myths, both Coyote and Silver Fox are male.

Yana Indian Folklore

The Creation of Man:
    Yana myth about the origin of people.

Recommended Books on Yana Mythology

Ishi's Tale of Lizard:
    Folktale about the California Indian hero Lizard, compellingly narrated by the last survivor of the Yana tribe.
Yana Texts:
    Collection of Yana stories and legends.
Surviving Through the Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs:
    Anthology of myths and traditional literature from the Yana, Yahi, and other Native California tribes.

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Additional Resources

 The Religion of the Indians of California
 Books of Native Indian folktales
 Indian religion
 Northern California tribes
 Hokan languages
 The Native Indians



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