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North American mythology

North American mythology Traditional beliefs of Native North Americans. Native North Americans displayed a great diversity of languages and cultures, but their mythologies had many common features. Among these was the concept of heroes in the form of animal deities, such as Raven or Coyote, believed to have been the original inhabitants of the country. They brought order into the world by gaining possession of fire, wind and rain, and by establishing laws and institutions. They also created mountains and rivers and other natural features. Native Americans had numerous gods, including the Great Spirit and the Earth Mother of the Algonquins, and the gods of thunder and wind of the Iroquois. Belief in protective or harmful spirits remains universal, and the shaman plays a central part in religious life, acting as an intermediary between man and the spirit world.

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