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Mockingbirds are mythologically important birds in many Native American cultures. In the creation myths of the Hopi and other Pueblo tribes, it was Mockingbird who first taught the people to speak. In Shasta Indian mythology, Mockingbird is the guardian of the dead. To Southeast Indian tribes, the mockingbird is a symbol of intelligence; the Cherokees used to give children mockingbird heads to eat out of the belief that it would make them clever. The Maricopa considered the mockingbird a medicine animal, and dreaming of a mockingbird was a sign that a person had been given special powers. In O'odham (Papago and Pima) folklore, Mockingbird plays the role of a mediator.
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