Indigenous language American Indian culture History of Indian art
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Like their cousins the fishers, martens are usually portrayed as brave heroes in Woodland Indian folklore (whereas weasels and wolverines tend to play more negative roles.) In the Mi'kmaq tribe, Marten has an especially important meaning as the first animal to give himself up as food to the human race; as a reward for his sacrifice, the culture hero Glooskap resurrected Marten and adopted him as his brother. In the Anishinabe tribes, martens are symbols of determination and skill at hunting. In California Indian tribes, martens are considered lucky animals like other members of the weasel family. And in Northwest Coast tribes like the Tlingit, martens are associated with sorcery and are not eaten for that reason.
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