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Native American Blackbird Mythology

Blackbirds are a symbol of corn in many Plains Indian cultures, and for this reason are considered sacred in certain contexts. In the mythology of the Arikara and Mandans, blackbirds are the servants of the Corn Mother. Some Sioux people believed that when flocks of blackbirds ate their crops, it was divine punishment for failing to properly honor the corn. Blackbird medicine is also used in Arapaho Sun Dance rituals. The Hopi consider blackbirds one of the directional guardians, associated with the underworld.

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Blackbirds are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Blackbird Clans include the Chickasaw tribe. The Chumash also have a Blackbird Dance among their tribal dance traditions, and one of the traditional Arapaho youth societies was called the Blackbirds.

Native American Legends About Blackbirds

*The Obstacle Flight * Big Man-Eater and the Obstacles:
    Alabama myths about the origin of blackbirds.
How Coyote Danced With The Blackbirds:
    Zuni legend about the blackbirds teaching Coyote to fly.

Recommended Books of Blackbird Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Birds of Algonquin Legend:
    Interesting collection of legends about blackbirds and other birds in Algonquian tribes.
Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend, and Superstition:
    A good book on the meaning of birds in world mythology, including North and South America.



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