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Native American Badger Mythology

Badgers have often been confused with wolverines in Native American folklore-- not by the Native Americans telling the stories, but during their translation into English. While wolverines often are villains or negative characters in Native American folklore, the same is not true of badgers, who are usually portrayed as hard-working, cautious animals or as protective parents. Among the Pueblo tribes, badgers are considered one of the six directional guardians, associated with the south and the color red. The Zunis ascribe healing and protective powers to badgers and carve stone badger fetishes to protect them and bring them luck.

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Badgers are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Badger Clans include the Hopi (whose Badger Clan is called Honnangyam or Honan-wungwa) and the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico.

Native American Badger Gods and Spirits

Honan Kachina (Hopi)

Native American Legends About Badgers

Lakota Badger Story:
    Sioux Indian legend of a spirit warrior who rescues a hard-working badger family from a greedy bear.

Recommended Books of Badger Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
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Badger, the Mischief-Maker:
    Book of Canadian Indian legends about a trickster Badger (actually Kekwajoo/Lox).
Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories, and Ceremonies:
    Book by a Karuk elder about the meanings of Indian animal spirits, including a chapter on badgers.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Engaging collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

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