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Beliefs of the Native Americans

Gods, Goddesses, Religions & Beliefs of the Native Americans

Beliefs of the Native Americans

Native Beliefs share some common tendencies. Religion tends to be closely related to the natural world. The local terrain is elevated with supernatural meaning, and natural objects are imbued with sacred presences. Ceremonial rituals involving these supernatural-natural objects are meant to ensure communal and individual prosperity. These common underlying features unite a diversity of contemporary Native American sects.

Various

  • Manitou – Supreme ruler and master of life

Various

  • Thunderbird – God of thunder

Various (Northwest Coast tribes)

  • Kaiti – Bear god

Various (Plains tribes)

  • Wahanda – Great spirit and creator god

Acoma (Southwestern US)

  • Masewi – One of the twin gods of war

Ahta (Western Canada)

  • Quawteaht – Creator god

Aleut (Alaska)

  • Agugux’ – Supreme and creator god

Algonquin (Central Canada and Northeastern US)

  • Chebbeniathan – Supreme being and sky god

  • Gitche Manitou – The great spirit who made the world

  • Glooskap – Creator of the sun, moon, plants, animals, and people

  • Kiehton – Great spirit and creator

  • Manibozho – Creator of the earth and of mortals

  • Michabo – Creator god

  • Nokomis – Goddess of the earth

Apache (Southwestern US)

    • gaan (Ganhs) – Mountain Spirits

      • Associated with mountain caves, appear as masked dancers during puberty ceremonies and are important in curing.

    • ? -The White Painted Woman

    • ? -Child of the Water

    • Naiyenesgani – Role:Creator god

    • Tlehanoai – ??

    • Tobadzistsini – God of war

    • Apache (Jicarilla) – Yi-na-yes-gon-i – Supreme god

    • Apache (Mescalero) – Yusan – God of the beginning and creator god

  • Six separate Apache tribes ranged over the American southwest. Their religion centered on the conception of a supernatural power that manifested itself in almost every facet of the Apache world. They believe that they can develop a healthy and cooperative relationship with this power. The power is believed to offer its services to the Apache through visionary experiences. In shamanistic ceremonies, the practitioner interacts with his particular power alone. But other rituals require a priest to officiate. Both shamanistic and priestly rituals are patterned. Four is the sacred number; songs and prayers occurred in quartets. The ceremonial circuit moves clockwise. And rites last four successive nights. The Apache perform life-cycle rites, including the rite for a child who takes his first steps and a girl’s puberty rite.

Arikara (Plains of US)

  • Nesaru – Creator god

Assiniboin (Northern plains of US)

  • Wah-con-tun-ga – Creator god

Athapascan (Northwestern US)

  • Qawaneca – Creator god

  • Yakista – Omnipresent supreme being and god of the universe

Aztec (Central Mexico – Ancient Civilization)

  • Camaxtli – God of war and one of four creator gods

  • Centeotl – Corn god

  • Chalchuiuhtlicue – Goddess of the East, sea, and running water and 1 of 13 lords of the day

  • Chalmecatecuhtli – God of sacrifice and 1 of 13 lords of the day

  • Chantico – Goddess of hearth fires and volcanoes

  • Chicomecoatl – Goddess of maize

  • Cihuacoatl – Earth goddess

  • Cinteotl – Corn goddess and 1 of 13 lords of the day

  • Citlalincue – Goddess of the heavens and 1 of 13 lords of the day

  • Coatlicue – Mother and earth goddess

  • Coyolxauhqui – Goddess of the moon

  • Ehecatl – God of the wind

  • Huehuecoyotl – God of mischief-making

  • Huehueteotl – Fire god

  • Huitzilopochtli – God of war

  • Huixtocihuatl – Goddess of salt

  • Ixcuina – Goddess of carnality, prostitutes, and adulterers

  • Ixtlilton – God of healing, feasting, and games

  • Macuilxochitl – God of music and dance

  • Mayahuel – Goddess of the maguey plant

  • Metztli – Goddess of moon, love, marriage, and childbirth

  • Mictlantecuhtli – God of the dead and 1 of 13 lords of the day

  • Mixcoatl – Star god and god of the hunt

  • Nanahuatzin – Father of the sun and god of corage and bravery

  • Ometecutli – God of fire

  • Ometéotl – Supreme god

  • Patecatl – God of medicine

  • Paynal – The messenger to Huitzilopochtli

  • Tacatecutli – God of merchants and adventurers

  • Teccuciztecatl – God of the moon

  • Teoyaomqui – God of dead warriors

  • Tezcatlipoca – Supreme god; god of rulers, of the north, of cold, and of darkness; and god of pleasure and sin

  • Tlaloc – God of rain, of agriculture, of fire, and of the south; and 1 of 13 lords of the day

  • Tlaltecuhtli – 1 of 13 lords of the day

  • Tlazoltéotl – Goddess of purification and of love; and 1 of 13 lords of – Tloquenahuaque – The unknown god

  • Tochtli – God of the south

  • Toci – Mother of the gods

  • Toci – Mother goddess of the the earth and of curing

  • Tonacacihuatl – Mother of the gods

  • Tonacatecuhtli – The creator and the provider of food

  • Tonacatecuhtli – Creator and food provider

  • Tonantzin – The mother-goddess

  • Tonatiuh – God of the sun and of warriors; and 1 of 13 lords of the day

  • Ueuecoytl (Coyote) – God of fecundity

  • Uixtochihuatl – Goddess of salt

  • Xilonen – Goddess of young maize and a wife of Tezcatlipoca

  • Xiuhtecuhtli – God of fire and time; and 1 of 13 lords of the day

  • Xochiquetzal – Goddess of flowers, of fruit, and of music; and of female sexual power

  • Xoloth – God of monsters, of magicians, of twins, of double ears, of maize

  • Yacatecuhtli – God of merchant adventurers

Bella Coola (Western Canada)

  • Aelguntam – Supreme god

  • Alkuntam – Great sky god

  • Qamaits – Goddess of an upper heaven

  • S’anolxmulalt – God of kusuit dances

  • Senx – Creator god

Blackfoot (Canadian prairies)

  • Apistotoke – Creator god

  • Kokomikeis – Moon goddess

  • Na’pi – Creator god

  • Notos – Supreme god and sun god

  • Omuqkatos – Great spirit

Caddo (Southern plains of US)

  • Caddi Ayo – Sky god

Cahroc (Southwestern US)

  • Chareya – Creator and sky god

Cahuilla (Southwestern US)

  • Mukot – Joint creator god

  • Tamaioit – Joint creator god

Carrier (Western Canada)

  • Utakke – Sky god

  • Yuttoere – Supreme god who governs weather

Chemehuevis

  • Hutsipamamau?u – Primal creator goddess

Cherokee (Southeastern US)

  • Asgaya Gigagei – Originally god of thunder; later god of healing

  • Unelanuki – Sun goddess

Cheyenne (Northern plains of US)

  • Heammawihio – The great spirit

  • Maheo – Supreme god or great spirit and creator

  • Maiyun – The great spirit

Chickasaw (Southeastern US)

  • Luak Ishto Holo Aba – Supreme god

Chinook (Northwestern US)

  • Ikanam – Creator god

  • Saghalie Tyee – Supreme god

Chipewyan (Central Canada and Canadian prairies)

  • Yeddariye – Omniscient, omnipotent supreme god

Chitimacha (Southeastern US)

  • Kumokums – Supreme god

Choctaw (Southeastern US)

  • Aba – The great spirit

  • Esaugetuh Emisse – Pre-existent supreme god

  • Nanih Waiya – Creator god

  • Shahli Milo – God of fire

  • Shilup Chito Osh – Great spirit

Coeur d’Alene (Northwestern US)

  • Amotken – The great spirit who created the world

Cree (Central Canada and Canadian prairies)

  • Notawinan – Supreme god

Creek (Southeastern US)

  • Esaugetuh Emisse – Pre-existent supreme god

  • Hisakitaimisi – Supreme god

  • Ibofanga – Supreme god and creator

Crow (Northern plains of US)

  • Akbatekdia – Supreme god

  • Coyote – God of creation

  • Isakakate – The great spirit

Cupeño (Southwestern US)

  • Mukot – Joint creator god

  • Tamaioit – Joint creator god

Dakota (Northern plains of US)

  • Tunkan Ingan – God of sex

  • Wahkeegan – Great spirit

    Wakonda – Great mystery or power above

Delaware (Northeastern US)

  • Gicelemuhkaong – Great spirit and creator

  • Tammanend – Benevolent god who gacve knowledge

Déné (Western Canada)

  • Inkfivin-wetay – Creator god and ruler of the universe

  • Yuttoere – Supreme god who governs weather

Diegueño (Southwestern US)

  • Tuchaipa – Joint creator god

  • Yokomatis – Joint creator god

Durango (Southwestern US)

  • Mayuncame – Creator god

Eskimo / Inuit (Northern Canada and Alaska)

  • Aipaloovik – Evil sea-living god who attacked marines

  • Akna – Goddess of childbirth

  • Alignak – God of the moon and protector of orphans, animals, and the disinherited

  • Anguta – Supreme god

  • Asiaq – Goddess of the weather

  • Ataksak – Sky god and god of joy

  • Aulanerk – Friendly god who lived in the sea and brought men joy

  • Issitoq – The god who seeks out those who break the rules

  • Nigsillik – Sky god

  • Nujalik – Goddess of the land-hunt

  • Oluksak – God of lakes

  • Pinga – Goddess who guards souls of the living, guardian of the game, and healer of the sick

  • Pukkeenegak – Goddess of clothes-making and childbirth

  • Sedna – Goddess of the creatures of the sea

  • Sequinet – God of the sun

  • Sila – God of energy, air, movement, and curing

  • Tekkeitaertok – God of the earth

  • Toodlayoeetok – Sky god

  • Tootega – Goddess who could walk on top of the water

  • Torngasoak – The good being god

  • Tulangusaq – God of creation

Flathead (Northwestern US)

  • Amotken – The great spirit who created the world

Fox (Midwest US)

  • Ketchimanetowa – Great spirit

  • Wisakaa – Creator god

Gabrielino (Southwestern US)

  • Kwawar – Creator god

Gros Ventres (Northern plains of US)

  • Ixtcibenihehat – Supreme being and creator god

  • Ne Nanatch – Supreme god

Haida (Western Canada)

  • Komokwa – Sea god

  • Nekilstlas – Creator god, always existent

  • Sins-sganagwai – Supreme, omniscient god

Hopi (Southwestern US)

  • Ahul – Sky god

  • Cotokinunwu – Sky god

  • Huruing Wuhti – Two creator gods

  • Mosau’u – God of death, the underworld, and fire

  • Muyinwu – Sky god

  • Pautiwa – Sky god

  • Ragno – Old mother goddess

  • Shotokunungwa – God of sky, lightning, war, the hunt, and fertility

Huchnon (Western North America)

  • Taikomol – Creator god

  • Hupa (Southwestern US)

    • Yimantuwinyai – Creator god

    Huron (Central Canada)

    • Ahone – Creator god

    • Airsekui – The great spirit

    • Ataensic – Sky woman and mother earth

    • Hamedicu – Supreme god

    • Heng – Thunder god

    • Ioskeha – Creator god

    • Ondoutaete – God of war

    • Taweskare – Malicious creator god

    • Tsenta – Creator god

    Iowa (Northern plains of US)

    • Ictinike – War god

    Iroquois (Northeastern US)

    • Ataensic – Sky woman and mother earth

    • Eithinoha – Earth goddess

    • Ga-Oh – God of the winds

    • Gendenwitha – Goddess of the morning star

    • Ha Wen Neyu – The great spirit

    • Hahgwehdiyu – A creator god

    • Hawgwehdaetgah – A creator god

    • Hino – God of the sky

    • Hodianokdoo Hediohe – Omnipotent and incomprehensible creator god

    • Ioskeha – Creator god

    • Neo – Supreme god

    • Oki – God of oaths and agreements

    • Onatha – Goddess of wheat

    • Sky-holder – Creator

    • Sone-yah-tis-sa-ye – Great spirit and creator of the Indians

    • Taweskare – Malicious creator god

    Joshua (Northwestern US)

    • Xovalasi – Creator god

    Juaneño (Southwestern US)

    • Tukma – Creator god

    • Wiyot – Creator god

    Kato (Southwestern US)

    • Nagaitco – Creator god

    Klallam (Northwestern US and Western Canada)

    • Mikimatt – Sun goddess and creatress

    • Nukimatt – Creator goddess

    • Tsiltsi – Supreme god

    Kwatiutl (Western Canada)

    • Kané – ??

    • Komokwa – Sea god

    Lakota (Northern plains of US)

      • Hu Nonp – God of wisdom

      • Mahpiyato – Sky god, judge over all, and god of wisdom and power

      • Skan – Omnipotent, omnipresent great spirit

      • Wakan Tanka – Creator god and great spirit

      • Yum – God of love and pleasures

    • The Lakota were the “typical” nomadic, equestrian Plains Indians who lived in tipis and hunted buffalo. They were notable, historically, for destroying Custer’s forces at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. Their religious system is dominated by cosmology and the appeasement of supernaturals to ensure successful buffalo hunts. The “Seven Sacred Rites” forms the basis of Lakota religion. These seven rites incude: The Sweat Lodge, The Vision Quest, Ghost Keeping, The Sun Dance, Making Relatives, Puberty Ceremony, and Throwing the Ball. The seven rites have endured in contemporary worship, except for the Throwing the Ball ceremony. A practice known as Yuwipi has become prominent in this century. Yuwipi unites concepts of buffalo hunting culture and contemporary reservation life.

    Lenape (Northeastern US)

    • Gicelemuhkaong – Great spirit and creator

    • Kaunzhe Pah-tum-owans – Great spirit and creator of the Indians

    • Pahtumawas – Great spirit

    • Welsit Manatu – Creator of all things in the world

    Mahikan (Northeastern US)

    • Wauntht Mennitoow – Supreme being

    Maidu (Southwestern US)

    • Wonomi – Sky father and supreme god

    Mandan (Northern plains of US)

    • Maho Peneta – Great Spirit

    • Omahank Numakchi – Creator god

    Menominee (Midwest US)

    • Manibush – Creator god

    Micmac (Eastern Canada)

    • Naguset – Creator god

    • Nishkam – Great spirit

    Modoc (Southwestern US)

    • Kumush – Creator god

    Mohawk (Northeastern US)

    • Tareya-Wagon – God who liberated Mohawks from below the surface of the earth and led them to the Valley of the Mohawk on the surface

    Mojave (Southwestern US)

    • Ca-the-ña – Goddess of love and promiscuity

    • Matevil – Creator god

    Montagnais (Eastern Canada)

    • Atahocan – Creator god

    Narragansett (Northeastern US)

    • Yota-anit – God of fire

    Naskapi (Eastern Canada)

    • Tcementu – Creator god

    Navajo (Southwestern US)

    • Estsanatlehi – Chief goddess

    • Hastsehogan – House god

    • Hastseltsi – God of racing

    • Hastsezini – Fire god

    • Iyatiku – Mother of humans and corn goddess

    • Nayenezgani – God of war

    • Nltci – God of wind instruments and wind

    • Tlehanoai – ??

    • Tobadzistsini – God of war

    • Tonenili – Rain god

    • Tsohanoai – Sun god and creator

    • Yei – Creator gods

    • Yolkai Estan – Sea goddess

    Nisqually (Northwestern US)

    • Dokibatt – Creator god

    • Shuksiab – Supreme god

    Nootka (Northwestern US, Western Canada)

    • Ha-tartstl Cha-batt-a – Great spirit whose real name is a secret among the uninitiated

    • Quawteaht – Creator god

    Olmec (Ancient Civilization)

    • Jaguar -Principal God, Earth God, Rain God, Fertility God

    • Oglala (Northern plains of US)

    • Hu Nonp – God of wisdom

    • Nagi Tanka – Powerful great spirit

    • Skan – Omnipotent, omnipresent great spirit

    Ojibwa (Central Canada)

    • Kadebenjit – Supreme being

    Okanagan (Northwestern US)

    • Qoluncotun – Supreme being and creator

    Onandaga (Northeastern US)

    • Taronhiawagon – Supreme god

    Ottawa (Central Canada)

    • Michalon – God who created mortals from animals

    • Mirabichi – God of the water

    Papago (Southwestern US)

    • Tlehanoai – ??

    • Tobadzistsini – God of war

    Pawnee (Southern plains of US)

    • Pah – God of the moon

    • Shakuru – Sun god

    • Tirawa – The great father and creator

    Penobscot (Northeastern US)

    • Ketci Niweskwe – Omnipresent great spirit and creator

    Pericu (Southwestern US)

    • Niparaya – Creator of heaven and earth

    Piute (Southwestern US)

    • Pah-ah – Great spirit

    Pomo (Southwestern US)

    • Cha-kal-le – Supreme god

    • Madumda – Remote and wise sky god

    • Makila – Thunder god

    Powhatan (Southeastern US)

    • Ahone – Creator god

    • Okeus – Chief and creator god

    Pueblo (Southwestern US)

    • Bitsis Lizin – God of fire

    • Iyatiku – Mother of humans and corn goddess

    • Kokopelli – God of fertility

    • Oshats – Sky god

    • Sitchtchenako – Creator god

    • Tinami – God of the heavens

    Salishan (Northwestern US)

    • Sahale – Creator god

    Selish (Northwestern US)

    • Amotken – The great spirit who created the world

    Seminole (Southeastern US)

    • Hisakitaimisi – Supreme god

    Shawnee (Southern plains of US)

    • Kohkomhthena – Supreme goddess and creatress

    • Pabothkew – Great spirit and creator

    Sinkyone (Southwestern US)

    • Kyoi – Creator god

    • Nagaitco – Creator god

    Sioux (Northern plains of US)

    • Maianwatahe – God of plenty and prosperous hunting

    • Wakonda – Great mystery or power above

    Tahltan (Western Canada)

    • Yekaside – Beneficial god of the sky

    Takelma (Northwestern US)

    • Haap’k!emnas – Creator god

    Teton (Northern plains of US)

    • Skan – Omnipotent, omnipresent great spirit

    Tlingit (Alaska)

    • Nascakiyel – Supreme god and judge of the dead

    Tolowa (Northwestern US)

    • Kwoelecun – Creator god

    Tsimshian (Western Canada)

    • Caugh – Creator god

    • Laha – Supreme heaven-god

    • Shimayet Lakkah – Supreme being and sky god

    Twana (Northwestern US)

    • Dokibatt – Creator god

    • Wisoulus – Supreme being

    Ute (Southwestern US)

    • Sunawavi – Primordial creator god

    Wichita (Southern plains of US)

    • Kinnekasus – Creator and chief god

    Winnebago (Midwest US)

    • Man’una – Remote creator god

    • Wahhahnah – Supreme spirit

    Wintun (Southwestern US)

    • Hawt – God of music, flute, water

    • Kahit – Wind god

    • Mem Loimis – Goddess of waters

    • Olelbis – Chief god

    Wishosk (Southwestern US)

    • Guadatrigakwitl – Pre-existent supreme and creator god

    Witotoana (Southwestern US)

    • Moma – Creator and god of the dead

    Wiyot (Southwestern US)

    • Guadatrigakwitl – Pre-existent supreme and creator god

    Yahi (Southwestern US)

    • Jupka – Creator god and teacher of the people

    Yakima (Northern plains of US)

    • Wheemeemeowah – Creator and supreme god

    Yavapai (Southwestern US)

    • Komwidapokuwia – Creator goddess and patroness of shamans

    • Miamakwa – Sky god

    Yoruk (Southwestern US)

    • Gard – Supreme and creator god

    • Wah-pec-wah-mow – Omnipotent and omnipresent ruler of the heavens and creator god

    Yuki (Western North America)

    • Taikomol – Creator god

    Yuma (Southwestern US)

    • Kwikumat – Creator god

    Zuni (Southwestern US)

    • Apoyan Tachu – Sky father

    • Awonawilona – Creator and supreme god

    • Pautiwa – God of ceremonials

    • Poshaiyanki – God of riches

    • Shiwanni – Creator god

    • Shiwoka – Creator goddess

    • Shulawitsi – God of fire, maize, and hunting

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