Top 40 Native American Mythological Names for American Horses

Updated on April 23, 2018
Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image

Teeuwynn rode horses for decades, including her beloved Appaloosa, Aspen. She qualified at state and national levels in horse shows.

These beautiful names come from different Native American mythologies. One of these names may be just right for a Mustang, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, American Paint, or another type of American horse breed. When you give your horse a name with meaning, it can add to the bond you share with your beautiful and unique equine companion.

There are many ways to choose a name for your horse. For horses who are American-bred, having a Native American name ties them to their heritage. These names also have powerful meanings and connections to gods, goddesses, spirits, and heroes.

The names below have been divided by types of gods, spirits, and heroes, and not Native American tribes. The seven types of gods are as follows:

  • Creator Gods
  • Culture Heroes
  • Monster Gods
  • Nature Spirits
  • Transformer Gods
  • Trickster Gods

Beautiful Appaloosa ready for a Native American name.
Beautiful Appaloosa ready for a Native American name.

Creator God Horse Names

The creator gods create worlds, create life, and otherwise grow and protect the world.

1. Ahone

Ahone is the creator god of the Powhatan tribe. Ahone is sometimes known as the creator. Ahone is considered a force for good in the universe. Once Christian missionaries arrived, Ahone became absorbed in the Christian religion. Ahone could work for a noble or kind steed.

2. Isha

Also known as Esa, this god is part of the Shoshone, Bannock, and Northern Paiute tribes. Esa/Isha is a calm god who sometimes has to rescue his brother Coyote who gets himself in trouble. This name could be good for a calm, trustworthy steed.

3 and 4. Kame and Keri

Kame and Keri are the two creator gods of the Bakairi tribe. The brothers helped make the world habitable for human beings and taught them how to make fire and hunt for themselves. Either name would work for a horse that seems wise and helpful.

5. Raweno

Raweno is the creator god of the Huron and Mohawk tribes. Raweno means “great ruler” or “great voice.” Raweno is a benevolent caretaker. This name could be good for a horse that is meant to be a leader or a horse that is a calming force. It could also work for a very vocal horse.

6. Tamuchi

Tamuchi is the creator god of the Carib tribe. This ancient one is said to never have been seen by human beings. This name could work for a black horse or a mottled horse that blends into the environment.

7. Wakanda

Wakanda is the creator god of the Omaha, Osage, and Ponca tribes. Wakanda is a nebulous figure that has no gender. Wakanda is also significant in the movie Black Panther, which is a separate mythology, but still could be a source of inspiration for you. The name could work for a horse of either gender who is gentle and leads from behind. Or for a strong, dark horse that will protect it's owner with his life.

Perhaps this Pinto could make a good Raweno or Wakanda.
Perhaps this Pinto could make a good Raweno or Wakanda.

Culture Hero Horse Names

8. Jamul

Jamul is the Achumawi Coyote god. This Coyote god isn’t as mischievous as most, but he still gets into his fair share of trouble. Still, Jamul helped people make fire and otherwise help progress humans advance. This name might be good for a playful horse that is good at heart and makes friends with others.

9. Kujuri

Kujuri and the other god, Ikujuri, belong to the Apalai and Wayana tribes. The two gods created the world and taught people how to live in it. This name could go well as a twin name with Ikujuri, but it could also work as a name for a horse that is calm and seems to know what’s going on all the time.

10. Menilly

Menilly is a moon goddess from the Cahuilla tribe. She is the goddess who taught civilization to humans. This name could be a good one for a grey, moon-colored mare or for one with a particularly demure, polite personality.

11. Kipitaki

This hero is from the Blackfoot tribe. She is considered the Old Lady and is married to Napi, the Old Man. Kipitaki teaches people new things and is often helpful, but she can also be a bit of a trickster or troublemaker. This name could work for a number of mares. Since Kipitaki can be a trickster, the name could serve for a more wiley ware, but Kipitaki also helped teach humans new things, so the name could also work for a mare who is kind and easy to get along with, and maybe teaches you something on occasion.

This Horse Might Make a Good Kipitaki

12. Raven

Raven comes from the Inuit people of the far North. Raven can help transform people’s lives and the world around them, but he also gets into trouble causing tricks and enjoying the fallout. Raven is a name that could work for a black horse, but it could also work for a horse that likes to play around a lot or is very good at solving problems.

13. Shiok

This hero is a wanderer who is also an Alsea trickster. Shiok went into the ocean and fought a whale before returning as a great slayer of monsters. Such a strong name would work well for an equally sturdy horse, one you could see fighting monsters for you, if necessary.

14. Silver Fox

Silver Fox is a female creator heroine. She is found among the Northern Californian tribes. Silver Fox helped to create the world and she also helped teach people how to survive in it. This name would be wonderful for a grey mare of any kind, especially one with a bold spirit.

15. Whiskey-Jack

This Cree tribe culture hero is a trickster who often gets into funny adventures. Whiskey Jack never causes harm to humans, he just causes mischief. He is a true friend to humanity. This name could be good for any male horse with a silly or mischievous personality.

Quarter Horse acting like Whiskey-Jack
Quarter Horse acting like Whiskey-Jack | Source

Monster God Horse Names

16. Stonecoat

Stonecoats are rock giants. These mythological creatures are double the size of humans and covered in rocky scales. They are beings of winter and ice. This name would be good for a strong horse with a grey coat.

17. Windigo

The Anishinabe mythology brings us to the Windigo. This man-eating creature is huge and coated with ice. Windigo would make an interesting name for a very large, light-colored horse.

18. Uktena

This Cherokee creature is a horned serpent. Uktena was formed when a human tried to assassinate the sun. Because of this, Uktena might be a good name for a palomino, chestnut or light bay horse or a Paint or Appaloosa with underlying golden-brown coloration.

19. Kolowa

A Kolowa is a very shaggy ogre that eats humans. This name could work well for any horse or pony with longer, shaggy hair or one with an ornery temperament.

20. Manetoa

This creature is a giant, underwater snake. The name comes from the Algonquian tribe. The snake eats humans, has horns, and armored scales. The only thing the Manetoa is scared of is thunder. This name could work well for a lot of horses, particularly one with a mottled or Appaloosa pattern or one who is afraid of thunder.

21. Asin

Asin is the name of an ogress from the Alsea tribe who ate children. Parents would invoke her name to get children to behave. She was associated with huckleberries, so no one in the tribe ate them. Asin could be a good name for any horse, especially if you want a secretly intimidating name. You could also name your horse Huckleberry as a nod to this ogress from the past.

22. Caddaja

The Caddo tribe brings the Caddaja, a horrific horned ogre or snake, depending on which Caddaja legend you read. The Caddaja preyed upon humans in every version of the legend. This name could serve for pretty much any formidable looking horse. You could also consider using the Caddo tribe name for a horse, as well.

This powerful Appaloosa could make a good Caddaja.
This powerful Appaloosa could make a good Caddaja. | Source

23. Chenoo

These ice giants from Wabanaki legends are human eaters. This name would work well for a large, pale horse.

24. Culloo

This creature was a giant bird of prey, so big it could carry even a human child off to its nest to eat. Culloo could work for many horses, but maybe especially well for a larger horse, probably darker in coloration, or a paint or Appaloosa that might remind you of the mixed coloration of wings.

25. Pomola

Pomola is a bird spirit from Penobscot folklore. Pomola is associated with cold, wind, storms, and night. Pomola was a very powerful god that humans stayed away from. This name could work for any horse whose colorations work with cold, wind, storms, or night. The name could also be good for any powerful mare or a horse with long, feathered hair on her mane, tail, or other areas of her body.

26. Thunderbird

The Thunderbird is found throughout much of Native American mythology. Supposedly, the Thunderbird was so big it could carry away a whale in its claws. Thunderbirds are also responsible for making the sound of thunder. This name could work for a number of strong American horses, particularly those that like to gallop with a strong, thundery sound.

27. Sasquatch

This creature is generally found in many Native American mythologies. It is a large, hairy creature that is generally kind and does not attack humans. This name could work for a number of large male horses, particularly shaggier ones. Large, gentle horses would also work well for this name.

28. Stoneclad

This monster is either a human who has special abilities and wears a stone suit or a being of stone. This creature can only be defeated by special magical talismans or, interestingly, menstruating women. This name would be good for a strong male horse, perhaps of a grey color of some sort.

29. Canotina

These forest spirits are from the Sioux tribes. They were little tree dwelling gods that would give messages to the Sioux. This name could work for a smaller mare, particularly one with a coat that reminds you of trees or leaves.

This Rocky Mountain gelding would be a great horse to name Stoneclad.
This Rocky Mountain gelding would be a great horse to name Stoneclad. | Source

Transformer God Horse Names

30. Coyote

On the West Coast, the Northern Basin and further South, Coyote is seen as a great trickster and transformer, but also one who cares a lot about human kind. Coyote brought fire to humanity. He taught civilization and brought other important knowledge to humans. So, although he enjoys playing tricks on humans, Coyote is generally considered a benevolent god. This name could be good for a playful, spirited horse.

31. Nianthaw

This spider spirit comes from the Arapaho tribe. The name can be pronounced Ni-AN-thaw or Ni-AN-saw. Sometimes, this spirit can be a positive transformer, helping humans, but often the spider Nianthaw enjoys tricking humans to their detriment. The name might work for a horse that likes to occasionally try to dump their rider on the ground or step on their foot, but is generally a pretty good natured horse.

32. Sibu

Sibu is less of a trickster than most. Sibu is a transformer who created the earth and tries to help people use the earth and adapt to it to have a better life. This name would work well for any horse with a sweet nature.

33. Wanderer

This Alsea is a wanderer also named Seuku who is a transformer god who was turned into a whale for a long time before returning to earth to slay monsters. This name would work for a horse that likes to wander, of course, but it would also work for a horse with a brave personality who is willing to stand up to dangers or perceived threats.

34. Wisaka

Wisaka is the transformer god of the great Algonquin people of the plains. Wisaka is a friend to humans, even if he likes to tease them sometimes. Many Algonquin myths show Wisaka creating the human race in one of many ways. This name could work for a number of horses, particularly one you see as a really good friend or one you expect to become one.

This palomino could make a good Wisaka.
This palomino could make a good Wisaka.

Trickster God Horse Names

35. Azeban

This god is often portrayed as a raccoon. Azeban is never considered malevolent. He plays benign tricks to have fun with people. This name would work for a silly horse that likes to do things like stick his tongue out at people or do other silly activities.

36. Bluejay

This trickster god appears in Chinook and other Northwest tribe lore. Bluejay likes to help people, but tends to get in trouble all the time. This name could work for a horse that is good natured, but things just keep happening to him or her like getting a head stuck in a barn door or otherwise finding him or herself in an awkward position.

37. Crazy Jack

This human-looking trickster is known for his laziness and foolish nature. Crazy Jack rarely gets in serious danger, but when he does he gets out of it with a combination of good luck and innate wisdom. This name could work for any horse that is lazy or goofy in nature, particularly one that never seems to get in trouble, even though you think that he would.

38. (Trickster) Rabbit

The name Rabbit is a trickster from Southeastern Native American tribes. This creature is very happy-go-lucky and does not engage in mean tricks. Mythology says Rabbit brought fire to the Southeastern Native American people. He often makes inappropriate mistakes, but they are always innocent. He gets along well with children. This name might work well for a pony, particularly one with a rabbit colored coat.

39. Mink

Mink is a Northwest trickster god. Unlike many trickster gods, Mink doesn’t generally help humans. Although there are a lot of humorous stories about Mink, the deity can be reckless and arrogant. This name could be good for a proud, boisterous horse or it could also just work for a beautiful, dark mink colored horse.

40. Napi

Napi is considered the Old Man in the Blackfoot tribe. Napi shaped the world, but he is still considered a cantankerous creature that can cause a bit of trouble for people. Napi gets help from Kipitaki, or Old Woman. The two are considered the first man and woman of the tribe. Napi (and Kipitaki) could be good names for older horses that have come into your lives. The names could also work for horses with a bit of an attitude or who have a certain kind of crafty wisdom.

Why Consider a Native American Name for Your Horse?

Native American Names are often different from the names we commonly see in our horses and ponies. Consider trying something new and give your horse or pony a name that has meaning both in mythology and based in the history of their breed, be it Appaloosa, Mustang, Pinto, Paint, Standardbred, or American Quarter Horse.

If you want more Native American inspiration, one of the books I used in writing this article was Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Symbols, Stories, and Ceremonies.

Palominos engaged in godly combat.
Palominos engaged in godly combat.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff

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