Myth-Folklore Unit: Apache Tales

Overview. These stories from Jicarilla Apache of New Mexico, collected and translated by P. E. Goddard, feature many tales of Coyote, who is both a trickster and also a benefactor of mankind as the bringer of fire. There are other animal stories, too, such as the tale of how Mole managed to beat Coyote and the other animals in a race. You will read a whole series of stories about the great culture-hero Naiyenesgani who battled monsters like the Giant Elk and the water monster who had devoured the Taos Indians. There are other hero legends, too, such as the story of the man who climbed up Panther's tail into the Sky world, or the man who rescued the buffalo who had all been stolen by Raven, thus restoring the buffalo to the people.

Language. Goddard's book contains English translations of traditional Apache tales. If you are looking for a more authentic reading experience, this unit is probably the closest option to the original oral style of the stories.

Story Length. These are all single-page stories.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: Apache Tales. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

  1. The Emergence
  2. The First War
  3. The Culture Heroes and Owl
  4. The Killing of the Monsters
  5. Naiyenesgani Rescues the Taos Indians
  6. More Deeds of Naiyenesgani
  7. Naiyenesgani Takes His Leave
  8. Coyote Secures Fire
  9. The Swallowing Monster
  10. The Man Who Helped the Eagles
  11. Releasing the Buffalo
  12. The Origin of Corn and Deer
  1. The Supernatural Person in the Lake
  2. The Man Who Traveled with the Buffalo
  3. Coyote Steals a Man's Wife
  4. Coyote Takes Arrows from Owl
  5. Antelopes Take Arrows from Coyote
  6. Coyote Tries to Make His Children Spotted
  7. Coyote and Porcupine
  8. Coyote Kills the Prairie Dogs
  9. Coyote and His Hosts
  10. Coyote and Mosquito Marry Under False Pretenses
  11. Coyote and the Mexicans
  12. Coyote and the Animals Run Races

(Jicarilla Apache man,
photo by E. Curtis, 1904)