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Native American Fir Tree Mythology

Like other evergreens, fir trees are associated with protection and spirituality in many Native American tribes. Fir branches are used for purifying and warding off ghosts in some Salish and other Northwest Indian rituals. Plains Indian tribes commonly burn fir needles as incense, and northern Algonquian tribes bundled spruce and fir needles into sachets or herbal pillows to protect against illness. Fir cones, like pine cones, were used for weather magic in some Northwestern tribes, particularly in Washington state. Fir bark and resin have also been used as medicine herbs by many Native Americans. It used to be customary in the Haisla tribe for mourners to blacken their faces with silver fir pitch.

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Fir trees are also used as clan symbols in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Fir Clans include the Hopi tribe (whose Fir Clan was named Hekpa.)

Native American Legends About Fir Trees

The Legend of the Douglas Fir Cone * The Mouse and the Douglas Fir Tree * Tale of a Tail:
    Native American legends about the strange appearance of Douglas fir cones.

Recommended Books of Fir Tree Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Strength of the Earth: The Classic Guide to Ojibwe Uses of Native Plants:
    Book of Ojibwe traditions about the meaning of fir trees and other woodland and prairie plants.
Native Plant Stories:
    Excellent collection of Native American stories about plant spirits, by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Native American Ethnobotany:
    Book on the traditional uses of trees, herbs and other types of plants throughout Native North America.
*Sacred Trees:
    Interesting book on the role of trees in world mythology and spirituality, including Native North America.
The Meaning of Trees: Botany, History, Healing, Lore:
    Another good book about the folklore and cultural symbolism of trees worldwide.



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