Native American Folklore

  • Posted on: 28 November 2011
  • By: jhughe59

Native American cultures and tribes have wonderful myths, legends, fables, and folklore that have been passed down from generation to generation which can tell us about the peoples from whome these stories came. Although stories sometimes include multiple genres, generally speaking:

  • Myths are stories that try to explain how the natural world works and how we should treat each other. They often begin in times long ago before history as we know it was written... One myth that most cultures, trives, or groups of people have is their version of how our world came to be.
  • Legends tend to recount stories about people and their actions or deeds. Legends usually try to teach a lesson, or have a "moral" to the tale as passed down from generation to generation and are embelishments of actual historical events and people (like Robin Hood or King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table).
  • Fables feature animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are given human qualities. Aesop's Fables is a well-known example.
  • Folklore explores oral history, proverbs, popular beliefs, rituals, customs, and traditions of a specific culture or group of people.

SLCC Libraries have a wide selection of books and electronic resources on Native American myths, legends, fables, and folklore. Be sure to check some of them out!

native americans, myths, legends, folklore, indians