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Native American Duck Mythology

Ducks most often appear in Native American legends as gullible, foolish creatures that are often taken advantage of by trickster animals like Coyote or Fox. However, in some Eastern Algonquian legends the Merganser Duck plays the role of Earthdiver, being the only animal to succeed at diving to the ocean floor to bring up earth for the Creator or other animals to make land with.

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Ducks are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Duck Clans include the Chippewa (whose Duck Clan and its totem are called Zhiishiib,) the Menominee (whose Old Squaw Duck Clan is named Osew in Menominee), and the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico. The Caddos and Creeks also have a Duck Dance among their tribal dance traditions.

Native American Duck Gods and Spirits

K'uik'ui (Yokuts)
Pawik Kachina (Hopi)

Native American Legends About Ducks

Lox: * How Lox Deceived The Ducks:
    Wabanaki Indian legends about Lox the Wolverine killing gullible ducks.
*Wenebojo and the Dancing Geese * Manabozho and the Hell-Diver * Manabush and the Birds * The Shut-Eye Dance:
    Weesakaychuk and the Ducks * The Dancing Duck Tale * Wolverine and the Birds * Old Man and the Ducks:
    Algonquian legends about the culture hero tricking gullible ducks and geese so he could eat them.
*The Falcon and the Duck:
    Blackfoot Duck story about a foolish bird paying the price for empty boasting.
*Coyote's Eyes Are Replaced by Buckeyes:
    Caddo legend about Coyote misusing duck magic and ending up without his eyes.

Recommended Books of Duck Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
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    Children's book depicting an Ojibwe Indian legend about a persevering merganser duck.
The Little Duck Sikihpsis:
    Charming picture book by a Cree writer illustrating a folktale about an Indian duck learning to accept himself.
Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting:
    Children's book based on a Cherokee Indian story about the trickster Rabbit trying to catch a wood duck.
Iktomi and the Ducks:
    Funny retelling of a Sioux Indian tale about the trickster outwitting a group of gullible ducks.
Birds of Algonquin Legend:
    Interesting collection of Native American legends about mallard ducks, grebes, and other birds in Algonquian tribes.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Book of American Indian animal tales for kids, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

Back to our Native animal index
Back to Native folktales
Back to Native American mythological creatures

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