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Native American Legends


Atagâ'hï, The Enchanted Lake

Westward from the headwaters of Oconaluftee river, in the wildest depths of the, Great Smoky mountains, which form the line between North Carolina and Tennessee, is the enchanted lake of Atagâ'hï, "Gall place." Although all the Cherokee know that it is there, no one has ever seen it, for the way is so difficult that only the animals know how to reach it. Read More »

Forbidden Plateau, Vancouver Island

The Forbidden Plateau is on the eastern side of Vancouver Island in the Strathcona Provincial Park, nestled between Mount Albert Edward and Mount Washington. According to the indigenous coastal hunting Comox (Komox, K’omoks) people the Forbidden Plateau is inhabited by evil spirits that supposedly consume any women and children that venture up there. Read More »

Lake Ronkonkoma

Legend has it that Ronkonkoma Lake on Long Island is haunted by a female ghost who takes a male life every year. Read More »

Nûñ'yunu'wï, The Stone Man

This is what the old men told me when I was a boy. Once when all the people of the settlement were out in the mountains on a great hunt one man who had gone on ahead climbed to the top of a high ridge and found a large river on the other side. Read More »

Of the Woman Who Loved a Serpent Who Lived in a Lake

The Passamaquoddy people were primarily settled in modern day Maine (USA) and New Brunswick (Canada). The following Passamaquoddy legend was taken from Charles Leland's 'The Algonquin Legends of New England; or, Myths and Folk Lore of the Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Tribe' (1884) Read More »

The Giants From The West

According to James Mooney in his 'Myths Of The Cherokee’ (Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology 1897-98, Part I.) 'James Wafford*, of the western Cherokee, who was born in Georgia in 1806, says that his grandmother, who must have been born about the middle of the last century, told him that she had beard from the old people that long before her time a party of g Read More »

The Great Leech Of Tlanusi'yï

The following legend is taken from ‘Myths Of The Cherokee’ by James Mooney (Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology 1897-98, Part I.) ’The spot where Valley river joins Hiwassee, at Murphy, in North Carolina, is known among the Cherokees as Tlanusi'yï, "The Leech place," and this is the story they tell of it: Read More »

The Great Yellow-Jacket: Origin Of Fish And Frogs

A long time ago the people of the old town of Kanu'ga`lâ'yï ("Brier place," or Briertown), on Nantahala river, in the present Macon county, North Carolina, were much annoyed by a great insect called U'la`gû', as large as a house, which used to come from some secret hiding place, and darting swiftly through the air, would snap up children from their play and carry the Read More »

The Haunted Whirlpool

At the mouth of Suck creek, on the Tennessee, about 8 miles below Chattanooga, is a series of dangerous whirlpools, known as "The Suck," and noted among the Cherokee as the place where Ûñtsaiyï', the gambler, lived long ago. Read More »

The Hunter In The Däkwä'

In the old days there was a great fish called the Däkwä', which lived in Tennessee river where Toco creek comes in at Däkwä', the "Däkwä' place," above the mouth of Tellico, and which was so large that it could easily swallow a man. Read More »

The Lions

The two peaks known as The Lions are one of Vancouver's most recognizable landmarks measuring 5400ft (West Lion) and 5269ft (East Lion). Named Ch'ich'iyúy Elxwíkn (Twin Sisters) by the indigenous Squamish people, the peaks represent two Squamish sisters who marred Haida men and created a peace between the two nations. Read More »

The Nest Of The Tlä'nuwä

On the north bank of Little Tennessee river, in a bend below the mouth of Citico creek, in Blount county, Tennessee, is a high cliff hanging over the water, and about half way up the face of the rock is a cave with two openings. The rock projects outward above the cave, so that the mouth can not be seen from above, and it seems impossible to reach the cave either from above or below. Read More »

The Nûñnë'hï And Other Spirit Folk

According to ‘Myths Of The Cherokee’ by James Mooney (Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology 1897-98, Part I.), The Knob, which is a name for the Big Pinnacle on Pilot Mountain (standing 2421 feet) was one of the homes of the Nûñnë'hï. Read More »

The Ustû'tlï

There was once a great serpent called the Ustû'tlï that made its haunt upon Cohutta mountain. It was called the Ustû'tlï or "foot" snake, because it did not glide like other snakes, but had feet at each end of its body, and moved by strides or jerks, like a great measuring worm. Read More »

Tsul'kälû, The Slant-Eyed Giant

The Tsul`kälû, (Judaculla or Tuli-cula or Juthcullah), a giant with sloped or slanted eyes appears in Cherokee legend as a figure associated withing hunting, a Master-of-Game. Read More »

Ûñtsaiyï', The Gambler

Thunder lives in the west, or a little to the south of west, near the place where the sun goes down behind the water. In the old times he sometimes made a journey to the east, and once after he had come back from one of these journeys a child was born in the east who, the people said, was his son. Read More »



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