An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links
to Mythologies, Fairy Tales & Folklore,
Sacred Arts & Traditions

Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.



Goddesses of Indigenous Peoples:
Ptesan-Wi, White Buffalo Woman, Goddess of the Lakota
 Sandra Stanton (used with permission)

Author's Note:
26 October 1998

Once I start more sections, I'll begin splitting this opening page into additional separate files (see below for the "Table of Contents").  In the meantime, an excellent starting point if you wish to work on your own is this vast, comprehensive link to the Arts & Humanities page of NativeWeb:

Goddesses of Indigenous Peoples:
Oshun, West African Yoruba Goddess of rivers, love, dance
Sandra Stanton (used with permission)

"Indigenous Peoples" has been the most difficult category to organize.  Originally, I tried to keep everything based on geography.  Thus, for example, the Maori were a subset under New Zealand.  But they were the only subset (the mythology and sacred traditions of white New Zealanders are derived from Europe and I had no reason to give them their own section side by side with the Maori).  As such examples grew, I realized that geographical categories were too awkward.  So I decided to have a section called "Indigenous Peoples."

I am aware that definitions of "indigenous" can be problematic and subject to hostile multi-cultural scrutiny.  For the sake of simplicity, by "indigenous," I mean a still-surving people who were the original (or at least among the most ancient) inhabitants of a land before those lands were turned into colonies by peoples of another culture who invariably considered themselves "superior" to the "natives."  By "indigenous," I also mean a people who still maintain some contact with their ancient ways, ceremonies, beliefs, arts, ways of healing, birthing, dying.  Finally, by "indigenous," I mean a people who have generally been marginalized and oppressed by the newcomers, but who, despite this, sustain a larger visionary sense of their own worth in the web of life.

Goddesses of Indigenous Peoples:
      Chalchihuitlicue, Aztec Goddess of Rain;  Yemaya, West African Yoruba Mother of the Sea
Sandra Stanton (used with permission)

Another of the Author's Notes:
2 July 1999

Despite vast differences among the world's indigenous peoples, one common thread among many of them is a deep respect for the powers of the Divine Feminine.  Since this thread is conspicuously absent from the West's three monotheisms, I have chosen to illustrate this page with seven extraordinary goddesses, each one sacred to the indigenous people (or their direct descendents) of her land.  These have been meticulously researched and painted by a brilliant artist, Sandra Stanton.  If you click on the link to her home page, you'll find sacred lore on each goddess (listed alphabetically) along with historical data on the ancient art appearing with each one.

Goddesses of Indigenous Peoples:
Pele, Hawaiian Goddess of fire and volcano; Erzulie, Haitian Goddess of rivers, love and dance
Sandra Stanton (used with permission)


Goddesses of Indigenous Peoples:
Mawu, the wise Creator/Moon Goddess from the Dahomey region in West Africa
Sandra Stanton (used with permission)

Note: also see "Sub-Saharan Africa"; "The Sahara"; and "Eastern Europe" (for indigenous Eurasian, but non-circumpolar, peoples)



North America
Canada's First Peoples
Native Americans
Latin America
  [FYI: this Latin American page is linked to my separate Latin American "features": Lore & History of Chocolate and Lore & History of Maize.]

Meso (Central) America & the Caribbean            [forthcoming]

Dia de los Muertos /
Day of the Dead
[Special feature page on Mexico]
South America
Amazonian Peoples

Andean Peoples
(Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia & northern Chile)

Patagonian Peoples [forthcoming]

Peoples of Other South American           Regions [forthcoming]




Up to Europe's Opening Page

Down to the Near East

Back to the HOME PAGE

If you have comments or suggestions, my email address is near the bottom of my Home Page.

This page created with Netscape Gold 3.01
Technical assistance: William Weeks

Text and Design:
Copyright 1998-2000 by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

Latest Updates:
12 July 1999; 11 April 2000; 4 June 2000