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Native American Frog Mythology

Frogs play a variety of roles in Native American mythology from different tribes. In some tribes, frogs are considered medicine animals who have healing powers and the ability to bring rain. In others, they are associated with disease and bad luck. To the Anishinabe tribes, frogs represent transformation and growth. To Northwest Coast Native people, frogs are associated with springtime and renewal. In some Southern California cultures, Frog is a major mythological character who killed their Creator god with evil witchcraft. And among indigenous tribes of Panama, such as the Buglé and Kuna tribes, the rare golden frog is associated with fertility, wealth, and a happy afterlife.

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Frogs are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Frog Clans include the Chippewa tribe (whose Frog Clan and its totem are called Omakakii or Makakii,) the Zuni (whose Frog Clan name is Tak'ya-kwe) and other Pueblo tribes of New Mexico, and the Tlingit. Frog is an important clan crest on the Northwest Coast and can often be found carved on totem poles. The Creeks also have a Frog Dance among their tribal dance traditions.

Native American Frog Gods and Spirits

Akwulabemu (Wabanaki)
Anikapeu, the Frog Master (Innu)
Paakwa Kachina (Hopi)

Native American Legends About Frogs

The Monster Frog Story * Glooscap Fights the Water Monster * The Monster That Swallowed The Stream:
    Koluscap Frees the Water:
    Wabanaki Indian stories of a giant water-hoarding bullfrog defeated by the culture hero Gluskabe.
*Rabbit and Frog Tales:
    Cree folktales about the marriage of two unlikely animals.

Recommended Books of Frog Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Frog Brings Rain:
    Colorful children's book illustrating a Navajo frog legend about the first people.
The Frog Princess:
    Picture book for kids based on a Tlingit Indian folktale about a girl who married a frog.
Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories, and Ceremonies:
    Book by a Karuk elder about the meanings of Indian animal spirits, including a chapter on frogs.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of stories about American Indian frogs and other animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.



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