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Native American Loon Mythology

Loon plays the role of Earth-Diver in some Native American tribes, being the only animal to succeed at diving to the ocean floor to bring up earth for the Creator or culture hero to make land with. In some Northwest Coast tribes, loons are symbols of harmony, generosity, and peace. In some Algonquian tribes of the northeast, loons are regarded as divine messengers.

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Loons are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Loon Clans include the Chippewa (whose Loon Clan and its totem are named Maang) and the Menominee. Loon is used as a clan crest in some Northwest Coast tribes, and can sometimes be found carved on totem poles.

Native American Loon Gods and Spirits

Kwimu (Micmac)
Medawisla (Abenaki)

Native American Legends About Loons

How Glooskap became friendly to the Loons:
    Wabanaki legend about loons being the messengers of the culture hero Glooskap.
How Koluskap Created Sugarloaf Mountain:
    Mi'kmaq story in which the people use Loon to call Glooscap to their aid.
*Wenebojo and the Dancing Geese * Old Man and the Loon * Wolverine and the Birds:
    Algonquian legends telling how Loon got his strange appearance.
*Tale of a Young Loon:
    Algonquin Indian legend about a loon family becoming reunited.
*The False Bride-Groom:
    How Loon impersonated Shell-Spitter.
*The Blind Hunter:
    Cree legend about a blind hunter whose sight was restored by loons.

Recommended Books of Loon Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Mwakwa Talks to the Loon:
    Excellent picture book by a Cree author, illustrating a Loon story about hunting and fishing responsibly.
Loon Legends:
    A collection of legends featuring loons from several Native American tribes.
How the Loon Lost her Voice:
    Storybook retelling a Northwest Coast legend about Loon helping Raven to bring daylight to the world.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.



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