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

This is our collection of links to Yokuts folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American tales 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 Yokuts tribe, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Miwok and Ohlone are very similar.

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

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Important Yokuts Mythological Figures

Coyote: The trickster hero of Yokuts mythology. As in many California Indian legends, Yokuts Coyote stories range from light-hearted tales of mischief and buffoonery to more serious legends about the nature of the world.

Water Baby: A mysterious and dangerous water spirit from the folklore of the Yokuts and other California Indian tribes. Water babies inhabit springs and ponds, and they and their eerie cries are omens of bad luck and death.

Yokuts Indian Folklore

*Costanoan and Yokut Myths:
    Collection of Costanoan and Yokut legends.
*Yokuts Creation Story * California Creation Lore * Gashowu Creation * Truhohi Creation * Wukchamni Creation * Yawelmani Creation:
    Yokut legends about the creation of the world.
*Gashowu Death Legend * Truhohi Death Legend * Yauelmani Death Legend:
    Yokut legends about the origin of death.
*A Tachi Legend * Visit to the Dead:
    Yokuts legends about the land of the dead.
*Origin of the Sierra Nevadas:
    Yokuts folklore about the Sierra Nevadas.
*The Theft of Fire: * Origin of Fire:
    Yokuts legends about how fire came to the people.
*War Of The Foothill And Plains People:
    Yokut legend about the animals becoming what they are today.
*The Bald Eagle And The Prairie Falcon:
    Yokuts legend about a fight between two birds.
*The Eagle's Son:
    How the birds got their colors.
*The Man And The Owls:
    Yaudanchi legend about a family killed by owls.
*The Race Of The Antelope And Deer:
    Yokuts legend about a wager between Antelope and Deer.
*The Prairie Falcon's Wife:
    Yokuts legend about Condor stealing Prairie Falcon's wife.
*The Pleiades:
    Tachi Yokut legend about five girls and a flea who became stars.
*The Wolf and the Crane:
    Yokut legend about the origin of Orion's belt.
*The Owl Doctor:
    How the owls brought Prairie Falcon back to life.
*Mythology of the California Tribes:
    Early 20th-century collection of Yokuts and other California Indian legends.
*Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest:
    Online book about Southwest and California Indian mythology.

Recommended Books of Yokuts Myths
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Yokuts and Western Mono Myths:
    Collection of Mono and Yokuts legends and traditional stories.
Surviving Through the Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs:
    Anthology of myths and traditional literature from the Yokuts and other Native California tribes.
American Indian Trickster Tales:
    Compilation of more than a hundred stories about Coyote and other Native American tricksters.
    (Use discretion sharing these with kids as some of the stories contain adult humor.)

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Additional Resources

 Yokuts religion and expressive traditions
 Indian religions and customs
 Yokuts language
 Native tribes in California
 California culture
 US Indian reservations map

Back to the Yokuts homepage
Back to the examples of tricksters in Native mythology
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