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Cherokee Myths and Legends

Who doesn’t like a good story? We learn about the world from the stories—real or made up—that describe the experiences of others. Some stories are funny while others are scary or sad, and still others confirm what we already know. Native Americans used stories, many still told today, to explain the unknowable and to help them understand the world. Because they believed that everything in nature had life, even rocks, clouds, and thunder, many Indian stories or myths personify objects in their explanations of events.

Teacher Tip: After watching the dramatized stories, ask students to think creatively and write or tell the class their own short stories that could explain natural phenomena such as a hurricane, the arrival of summer, curly tails on pigs, or a situation they choose. As a conclusion, discuss the value of stories and myths in a culture.