Indian languages * American Indian cultures * American Indian totem animals

Native American Blue Jay Mythology

Many Native American tribes have negative opinions about bluejays because of their noisy, aggressive behavior. In legends, bluejays often play the role of nosy gossip, bully, or selfish thief. But in some Northwestern tribes, Bluejay is a more ambivalent trickster character-- still selfish, greedy, and mischievous most of the time, but also clever, entertaining, and helpful to humankind.

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Blue Jay is also used as a clan animal in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Blue Jay Clans include the Hopi.

Native American Blue Jay Gods and Spirits

Blue-Jay (Chinook, Chehalis, Coast Salish)

Native American Legends About Blue Jays

*Blue Jay Visits Ghost Town * Ioi and the Ghost Husband:
    Chinook Indian legends about the hero Blue-Jay in the Land of the Dead.
*Blue Jay And Lizard And The Grizzly-Bears:
    California Indian legend about a neighborly bluejay prevailing over a family of greedy grizzly bears.
*How The Sun Was Stolen:
    Chehalis legend about Bluejay's boastful lies getting him into trouble.

Recommended Books of Blue Jay Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
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Blue Jay Girl:
    Charming picture book by a California Indian author about a girl learning to value the boldness of her bluejay spirit.
Birds of Algonquin Legend:
    Interesting collection of legends about Indian blue jays and other birds in Algonquian tribes.
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 bluejays.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend, and Superstition:
    A good book on the role of birds in world mythology, including North and South America.

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