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:
Creation Myth: Done to hilarious extremes in that many cultures have multiple creation myths.
Deal with the Devil: Uncegila, Uncegila, Uncegila. For those not familiar, Uncegila is a sea monster whose look can kill. Initially, the victim is blinded. A day later, he goes mad. Two days later, he's foaming at the mouth. A day after that, he dies, and 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 life became boring, getting whatever they wanted, so they stopped listening to it, and it exploded.
Eldritch Abomination: 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.
Hijacked by Jesus: 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).
Loin Cloth: Traditional male attire in climates that allow it.
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, free of shame, remove their clothes.
Magical Queer: 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 becomes Iktomi.
Noble Wolf: The wolf is usually portrayed more positively than in Western mythology. See for example Coyote.
No Swastikas: The Hopi and Navajo don't use the swastika anymore.
Odd Job Gods: And many of them, especially in Pueblo cultures
Our Monsters Are Weird: 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.
Parental Incest: In Lakota mythology, Unk (contention) and Iya (the all consuming-one). They make many monsters together.
Public Domain Artifact: 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.
Sixth Ranger: 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.
Theme Table: 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.
Kokopelli's family-friendly picture is the trope image. His wanted poster reads: Charges: despoiling maidens, seducing wives, 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.
Rule 34: There actually is a book called Sex Lives of American Indians. Everything in it's bullshit, though. For the homosexuals and Yaoi Fangirls, 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 Everyone Is Bi. Everything else in it seems to invoke Rule 34, 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.