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Native American Bee Mythology

Bees do not feature very often in the mythology of Native American tribes. Sometimes bees appear in cautionary tales warning people not to disrespect nature, as they are small but capable of defending themselves. In South American legends, bees are sometimes portrayed as small but fierce warriors capable of slaying larger but less courageous foes. Bees and their honey are also associated with fertility in some tribes and are considered good luck for couples trying to conceive.

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Bees are also occasionally used as clan animals, particularly in South America. The Ira-Tapuya tribe of Brazil call themselves Mapa-Dakenai in their own language, which means "grandchildren of the bee."

Native American Bee Gods and Spirits

Mok Chi' (Maya)
Momo Kachina (Hopi)

Native American Legends About Bees

*The Bee King and the Snake's Daughters:
    Ioway Indian story about a bee hero who slew two serpent monsters.

Recommended Books of Bee Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
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The Raccoon and the Bee Tree:
    A nice picture book based on a classic American Indian legend as told by 19th-century Dakota author Charles Eastman.
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 bees.
Insect Mythology:
    Interesting book on the role of bees and other insects in world mythology, including Native North America and Mesoamerica.
The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore:
    Anthropology book on bee mythology throughout history, including Mayan and Aztec bee tales.

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