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The Zuni mythology is the mythology of the Zuni tribe. The Zuni are a Pueblo people located in the southwest of the United Statesmarker. They worship many Kachinas (gods).

A list of Kachinas includes:

  • Achiyalatopa - A monster with celestial powers that throws feathers of flint knives.
  • Ahayuta - Twin gods of war and were created by Awonawilona to protect the first people from their enemies, using lightning. The brothers are second only to Awonawilona himself.
  • Aihayuta - A second pair of twin-brother heroes who complement the first set of twin-brother heroes, the Ahayuta.
  • Amitolane - A rainbow spirit.
  • Awitelin Tsita and Apoyan Tachu - Sun Father and Earth Mother and the parents of all life on Earth, from whom all living creatures came. Formed when the green algae that Awonawilona had made hardened and split.
  • Awonawilona - Creator of the world, becoming the sun and making the 'mother-earth' and 'father-sky'. He made the clouds and ocean,
  • Kokopelli - A fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flutist player (often with a huge phallus and feathers or antenna-like protrusions on his head). Also associated as a rain god. Also known as Ololowishkya.
  • Ma'l Oyattsik'i - The Salt Mother. Annual barefoot pilgrimages have been made for centuries on the trail to her home, the Zuni Salt Lakemarker.
  • Uhepono - A hairy giant that lived in the underworld; it has huge eyes and human limbs.
  • Yanauluha - A culture hero, who brought agriculture, medicine and all the customs of the Zuni people.


Awonawilona created of the world, becoming the sun and made the 'mother-earth' and 'father-sky'. Apoya Tachu and Awitelin Tsita birthed the first humans who emerged from four caves in the underworld. The Earth was a dangerous place, covered with water and monsters. The children of the sun took pity on humankind and hardened earth with lightning, then turned many animals into stone, leaving only the modern ones.

Zuni Mythology in Popular Culture

  • The Zuni religion plays a prominent role in the 1973 novel Dance Hall of the Dead, by the American writer Tony Hillerman.
  • The Zuni people and their katchinas ("life-givers," essentially gods) figure into the plot of Poul Anderson's 1999 novel Operation Luna. The characters seek the help of Kokopelli and "The Twin War Gods" for advice and help against evil spirits sabotaging attempts at space travel.
  • In the film Trilogy of Terror, one of the stories features a murderous doll containing the imprisoned soul of a Zuni warrior. Based on the short story Prey by Richard Matheson.

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