American Indian culture
American Indian totem
Native American Flicker Mythology
The bright red markings of flickers are associated with fire, and in the Native American legends
of northern California and Oregon, Flicker sometimes features as a medicine character with
powers over fire. Like other members of the woodpecker family, flickers (also known as flicker birds) are considered lucky
birds and are associated with friendship and happiness. In particular, yellow-shafted flickers
or yellowhammers are believed to bring good luck and healing; hearing their
cries means that you will soon receive a visitor, and in some
Northern California tribes, dreaming of a yellowhammer is the sign that a person will become a
traditional healer. The Hopi see the flicker as a directional guardian,
associated with the south.
The flicker is also used as a clan animal in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Flicker Clans
include the Tlingit.
Native American Flicker Gods and Spirits
Native American Legends About Flickers
The Story of the Maple Tree Woodpecker and the Sugar Maple:
Lenape Indian legend telling how Woodpecker and Flicker learned to peck trees.
Flicker Describes Himself:
Description of Flicker from Apache mythology.
Recommended Books of Flicker Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories, and Ceremonies:
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links
Book by a Karuk elder about the meanings of Indian animal spirits, including a chapter on flickerbirds.
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.
Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2020 Contacts and FAQ page
Back to Indian animal index
Back to our Native American legends and myths
Back to Historical Indian figures
Ottawa Indians Ohio
Indian art design
Native Indian tattoo
Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?