Indian languages Native American Indian cultures Native American art prints
|Find Native American ancestors in your family tree|
Octopi do not play a major role in most Native American mythology-- most coastal tribes consider the octopus to be just another type of shellfish. In some Northwest Coast tribes of British Columbia and Alaska, the octopus plays a more prominent role as a medicine animal, considered to have formidable powers over the weather or over sickness and health. (Octopus is often referred to as "Devilfish" in older English translations of Northwest Coast mythology, but that is an old-fashioned English term for the animal, not a literal translation of the Native American name.) Devil-fish are important totem crests of the Northwest Coast, and some tribes, such as the Tlingit and Haida, have Devilfish clans as subclans of the Raven moiety. Giant octopi appear in some Northwest Coast legends as monsters, too.
Back to Animal spirits and symbols
Back to American Indian myths
Back to Indian characters
Back to Sea monster legend
Native Indian jewelry Native names Cherokee removal Leather Native American bags Tribal tattoo
Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?