->"I'm a culture hero. We're like gods, except we screw up a lot more and nobody worships us."
-->-Whiskey Jack, ''AmericanGods''.

General Information on various Native American mythologies and {{oral tradition}}. Obviously, this page covers an enormous variety of different cultures, but they're grouped together here for convenience.

See also these sub-pages for specific cultures:

* UsefulNotes/AztecMythology
* IncaMythology

See UsefulNotes/PreColumbianCivilizations.

For the HollywoodHistory version, see MagicalNativeAmerican and {{Mayincatec}}.
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!!Tropes commonly associated with Native mythologies include:

* {{Animorphism}}: Iktomi is the most obvious, appearing in the form of a spider.
* BadassNative: At least one per mythology. Of course, considering the cultures in question, this is Administrivia/PeopleSitOnChairs.
* BigBadassBirdOfPrey: Thunder is anthropomorphized into a bird.
* BodyHorror: What happened to Stone Boy's uncles. Also the Sun Dance seemed like this to many non-Indians. Ptesanwin also has an ah, "interesting" punishment for rapists.
* CainAndAbel: Waziyata and Okaga in Lakota myth. At least when Wohpe is involved. This happens once a year. You call it "winter".
* ContinuitySnarl: No tribe's mythology has an established canon.
* CleverCrows: Ravens are a TricksterArchetype. Raven-as-individual is sometimes associated as a sort of region-specific equivalent to Coyote in the Pacific Northwest.
* CreationMyth: Done to hilarious extremes in that many cultures have multiple creation myths.
* DealWithTheDevil: Uncegila, Uncegila, Uncegila. For those not familiar, Uncegila is a sea monster whose look can kill. Initially, the victim is [[EyeScream blinded]]. A day later, he [[GoMadFromTheRevelation goes mad]]. Two days later, he's foaming at the mouth. A day after that, he dies, and [[FromBadToWorse his whole family dies]]. Two orphan brothers, one of whom was blind, killed Uncegila using special arrows that never missed. After that, they were instructed to not listen to it for its first three requests and then do whatever it said from then on. In doing so, they would get whatever they asked. Every day, it came up with more complicated ceremonies, though, and [[BoringInvincibleHero life became boring, getting whatever they wanted]], so they stopped listening to it, and it exploded.
* DepravedBisexual: Iktomi. Oddly, his most depraved behavior is with women.
* [[SummonBiggerFish Did Godzilla Just Punch Out Cthulhu]]: Wakinyan versus Unktehi. Bonus points because the Unktehi and Uncegila have a water motif.
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: Winkte (with the double woman) and heyoka (with the Wakinyan) do this in their visions.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: Since plains warriors have a habit of [[CallingYourAttacks announcing their deeds]], they tend to do this when fighting monsters too.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: While the [[SummonBiggerFish Wakinyan take out the Unktehi]], humans take out Uncegila.
* DidYouJustRomanceCthulhu: Some of the Lakota stories get into this range of mortals having relationships with gods. The made-for-TV movie ''Dreamkeeper'''s version of the story of Uncegila plays it straight: [[spoiler:Uncegila [[HumanoidAbomination is implied to be the young woman who is also the old woman]]]].
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: Averted: Iktomi manages to trick Iya, the eater of everything, into eating him, and then cuts him open and frees everyone.
* [[OverlyLongGag Did We Just List All The Tropes About Cthulhu?]]
* EldritchAbomination: Uncegila. Also, the wakinyan, who have no eyes but their eyes shoot lightning; no legs but sharp talons; and no beak but their call is thunder. Seeing a wakinyan is enough to make one always do things backward.
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: Unktehi (water) vs. Wakinyan (lightning). Let's see which one wins.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: Ghost Dance
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: Uncegila. To a much lesser extent, Waziyata, the north wind.
* EvilTwin: The Yuma creation myth features one.
* EyeScream: Uncegila. [[{{Troperrific}} Is there any trope she doesn't qualify under?]]
* FetchQuest: In an AlwaysMale example: Kill a bunch of animals. Your female relatives use their skins to make clothing to give away as a bride price or at a party.
** TwentyBearAsses is apparently {{older than they think}}.
* FireIceLightning: Lakota ideas about the four directions associate the west with lightning, north with ice, east with [[NonElemental nothing]], and south with fire.
* TheForce: Wakan as life energy which one can manipulate. Power to manipulate it is InTheBlood.
* FourIsDeath: Taken literally by the Sioux, who divide life into childhood, adulthood, senescence, and the afterlife.
* FullFrontalAssault: Atanarjuat, running from Oki.
* GagPenis: Coyote detaches his.
** In some versions, he borrows someone else's.
* GeniusLoci: Constantly. Many areas are sacred or taboo because of such.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: In more modern stories, people with the power to see the future tend to see white contact and do this.
* TheGreatFlood
* HijackedByJesus: To use a Lakota example, Wakinyan (thunder) became angels, Wohpe became the Virgin Mary, and the Pipe became Christ. Many Indians follow a mixture of tradition, Christianity, the peyote ceremony (largely Christian-based), and the Ghost Dance (which has Mormon influences).
* HumanMomNonhumanDad: Played straight and inverted/subverted/averted.
* IHaveManyNames: Just using Lakota examples, Wohpe or Ptsanwin? Skan or Taku Skanskan?
* ImmortalityImmorality: Pick a human who becomes immortal. Any.
* ImportantHaircut: In many cultures, hair is where memory is stored.
* LoinCloth: Traditional male attire in climates that allow it.
* [[MagicPants Magic Loincloth]]: According to the Ghost Dance, when the world ends, all the Indians will grow really tall, preparing for the flood. After the Apocalypse, the survivors will shrink down to normal size, and, [[HijackedByJesus free of shame]], remove their clothes.
* MagicalQueer: Winkte. Subverted because they can't have sex with each other, just with heterosexuals, who, oddly enough, can have sex with the same gender.
* {{Mons}}: In one Lakota story, Ksa (the Lakota god of wisdom) uses a porcupine as one while Gnas (a trickster) uses a skunk. The skunk's smell is super effective! against the porcupine. Ksa loses and [[HeelFaceTurn becomes Iktomi]].
* NobleWolf: The wolf is usually portrayed more positively than in Western mythology. See for example [[TricksterArchetype Coyote]].
* NoSwastikas: The Hopi and Navajo don't use the swastika anymore.
* NumerologicalMotif: The number four shows up a lot.
* OddJobGods: And many of them, especially in Pueblo cultures
* OurMonstersAreWeird: Iktomi is sometimes a man, sometimes a spider. Uncegila is a giant water creature who, by revealing its seventh spot, guarantees the death of not only the viewer, but his whole family.
* ParentalIncest: In Lakota mythology, Unk (contention) and Iya (the all consuming-one). They make many monsters together.
* PublicDomainArtifact: Many, but primarily the sacred buffalo calf pipe, seven arrows, ghost shirts, dream catchers, and medicine wheels. Expect a lot of New Age appropriation of these. Real natives are not pleased.
* [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti Sasquatch]]: Known as ''Ts'emekwes'', ''Sásq’ets'' and various other names.
* SeaMonster: Unktehi, who is described as a snake with legs that can puff himself up to cause the rivers to overflow.
* SingleGenderRace: The Piegan provide one for each gender.
* SixthRangerTraitor: A common trope on the plains, due to the emphasis on male solidarity. An aside, in a FiveTokenBand, you can expect that if there is an Indian, he'll be the SixthRanger or this.
* SixthRanger: Up, down, and the center are often considered ancillary directions in addition to the usual four. In Lakota tradition, for instance, the four directions are the sons of the wind god. His wife cheated on him with the sun and bore him a son. This son, the whirlwind and god of love, was raised by the wind god's youngest son, the south wind, and as punishment, the boy's parents cannot see him.
* {{Skinwalker}}: Common in several Native American myths, kind of like the Wendigo.
* ThemeTable: In some mythologies, there are many things which there is one of corresponding to each compass direction- for example, in Navajo mythology each direction is linked to (among other things) a colour, a type of corn, a type of rain, a type of animal, and one of the underworlds the Navajos passed through in Diné Bahaneʼ, the creation myth, while in Aztec mythology each direction has (among other things) a corresponding god, a corresponding colour and a corresponding age of the universe with a sin and a catastrophe which ended it.
* TricksterArchetype: Coyote, Raven, Iktomi, Rabbit
** Kokopelli's [[PopCulturalOsmosis family-friendly]] picture is the trope image. His [[MemeticMutation wanted poster]] reads: Charges: despoiling maidens, seducing wives, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and gambling]]. Sometimes travels with horny woman, who calls herself Kokopelli-mana. May have been involved in the bankruptcy of Pueblo Bonito in the 13th century. He has a very big... flute which is always prominently depicted in traditional artwork.
* TurtleIsland: The Iroquois are the TropeNamer.
* {{Twincest}}: In one Eskimo story, the moon rapes his sister, the sun. Also RapeAsDrama.
* UnsettlingGenderReveal: In one Apache story, Coyote demands a girl, and gets a boy dressed like a girl instead.
* VaginaDentata: Done literally in one Ponca myth.
* VillainousIncest: And ''how''!
* VisionQuest: TwoWordsObviousTrope, but not done in the Hollywood way.
* {{Wendigo}}: The Wendigo. May be an EldritchAbomination.
* WordOfDante: Between New Agers and anthropologists, there are a lot of Dantes out there.
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!!Other Tropes which may be found in various stories include:

* AdamAndEvePlot: Common to any origin tales.
* BearsAreBadNews: The OriginStory of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devils_Tower_National_Monument Devil's Tower]] in Wyoming involves one or more gigantic bears trying to kill frightened children and the Creator raising the tower up under the kids to save them.
* BiggusDickus
* CanonDisContinuity: The "matriarchal" Sioux when complete matriarchy doesn't exist.
* {{Fanservice}}: A lot of it, from WalkingShirtlessScene to ZettaiRyouiki--all [[AlwaysMale male]].
* GagPenis: Coyote attempts to molest a woman by extending his phallus all the way through a gopher warren and up her skirt.
* GambitPileup: What a TricksterArchetype ends up doing most of the time.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Iktomi
* LovecraftCountry: Particularly common in white portrayals, but you can expect the usual small-town America references to [=UFOs=] and cryptozoology in RealLife.
* PopCulturalOsmosis: Kokopelli figurines; Eagle feathers; you name it.
* ProudWarriorRace: Plains mythology has a ''lot'' of war.
* RuleThirtyFour: There actually is a book called ''Sex Lives of American Indians''. Everything in it's bullshit, though. For the homosexuals and {{Yaoi Fangirl}}s, there's ''Spirit and the Flesh'', where all you need to know is that there are sacred native transvestites who can't have sex with other transvestites but otherwise EveryoneIsBi. Everything else in it seems to invoke RuleThirtyFour, though. Finally, for the heterosexual females, you can just go to a powwow and watch the ladies grab a dancer's braids or lift up his loincloth.
* ShirtlessScene: Depending on culture area, this can range from wearing a shirt all the time except under the blanket to ShirtlessScene to WalkingShirtlessScene to total nudity.
* ShotaCon: A Pawnee marriage custom: At puberty, a boy marries his mother's brother's wife. His co-husband teaches him how to be a man, while his wife teaches him about sex.
* ShoutOut: The Ghost Dance is a ShoutOut to the Bible.
* TakeThat: The Ghost Dance apocalypse has a pretty bad ending for white people. And the Indians who support them.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: RealLife example: Crazy Horse.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: The initial view many tribes had of Christianity.
* ZettaiRyouiki: As with all ''accurate'' native clothing, fanservice is almost exclusively male: A loincloth and leggings leave a little area on the legs.

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