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True carp are not native to the Americas-- carp are fish of Asia and Europe, and in fact are currently posing problems as invasive species in the US and Canada. So how did they get into Native American mythology? The answer is a simple one: early colonists referred to unfamiliar fish they encountered in the New World as "carp," even though they are actually entirely different species. Today, these fish are referred to by the common name "sucker fish" or "carpsucker" instead, which relieves the confusion. But they are called "carp" in older texts, and this usage persists in the English name of the Anishinabe Carp Clans. In Ojibwe, the name of this fish is namebin, and in Potawatomi, it is nmébena.
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