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Native American Catfish Mythology

Catfish are not a very important animal to Native American mythology, appearing very rarely in legends. In some Ojibwe communities, there was once a superstition that it was bad luck to be touched by a catfish (although none of our modern Ojibwe speakers associate catfish with bad luck.) In some South American tribes, catfish are associated with witchcraft and giant catfish appear as monsters.

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Catfish are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Catfish Clans include the Ojibwe (whose Catfish Clan and its totem are called Maanameg or Maanamegwug.)

Native American Legends About Catfish

Catfish Story:
    Menominee legend about how the catfish got their strange appearance.

Recommended Books of Catfish Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about other animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.



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