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Native American Goose Mythology

Geese most often appear in Native American legends as gullible, foolish creatures that are taken advantage of by tricksters.

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Geese are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Goose Clans include the Chippewa tribe (whose Goose Clan is called Nika or Owewe), the Tlingit, and the Pueblos of New Mexico. Goose is an important clan crest in some Northwest Coast tribes, and can sometimes be found carved on totem poles. The beauty of flying geese is admired by many tribes, and "wild goose" is a popular girl's name in some communities.

Native American Goose Gods and Spirits

Nisk-napeu, the Goose Master (Innu)

Native American Legends About Geese

The Wawa (Wild Goose) Clan:
    Lenape story about lessons for people to learn from the wild geese.
Hummingbird Brings Back Tobacco:
    Cherokee Indian legend about Hummingbird retrieving tobacco from the geese.
*Wenebojo and the Dancing Geese * Menominee Geese Story * Manabush and the Birds * The Shut-Eye Dance * The Goose Story * Wolverine and the Birds:
    Algonquian legends about the culture hero tricking gullible ducks and geese so he could eat them.
*Raven and Goose-Wife:
    Athabaskan legend telling why geese migrate and ravens do not.

Recommended Books of Goose Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Birds of Algonquin Legend:
    Interesting collection of legends about Indian geese and other birds in Algonquian tribes.
Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories, and Ceremonies:
    Book about the meanings of Indian animal spirits, including a chapter on geese.
Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend, and Superstition:
    A good book on the role of geese and other birds in world mythology, including Native North America.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

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