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Native American Ash Tree Mythology

The Wabanaki Indian tribes, who craft their baskets from ash splints, have a tradition that humans were first created from black ash trees as well. The Chitimacha Indians believed ash was poisonous to rattlesnakes, and would use ash canes to drive away snakes. Some Great Plains tribes, such as the Ponca, used green ash wood instead of cottonwood for their sacred Sun Dance poles. Ash bark and roots were also used as medicine herbs in a number of tribes. Iroquois men would even chew raw ash bark as part of a hunting ritual (don't try this at home!)

Native American Legends About Ash Trees

Tree and Tradition * Gluskonba Makes the People * Origin of the Penobscot:
    Abenaki and Penobscot Indian stories about the first Native Americans being created from ash trees.

Recommended Books of Stories about Trees from Native American Myth and Legend

Native Plant Stories:
    Excellent collection of Native American stories about plants, by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Native American Ethnobotany:
    Comprehensive book on the names and traditional uses of trees and other plants throughout Native North America.
*Sacred Trees:
    Interesting book on the role of trees in world mythology and spirituality, including Native North America.
The Meaning of Trees: Botany, History, Healing, Lore:
    Another good book about the folklore and cultural symbolism of different types of trees worldwide.



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