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Native American Porcupine Mythology
Porcupines play a variety of roles in different Native American tribes. In most tribes, Porcupine is a
relatively minor animal spirit, most often associated with self-defense and cautiousness. In some
Southwestern tribes, such as the Hopi, porcupines are seen as a symbol of humility and modesty.
In others, porcupines were considered lucky animals-- in particular, a hunter who spotted a porcupine
was sure to have a good day hunting.
Porcupines are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with
Porcupine Clans include the Chippewa (whose Porcupine Clan and its totem are called
Gaag,) the Menominee, and the Huron.
Native American Porcupine Gods and Spirits
Porcupine Master (Innu)
Native American Legends About Porcupines
An Indian Porcupine Story Wenebozho and the Porcupine:
Chippewa Indian legend about Porcupine learning to defend himself with quills.
Menominee legend about Porcupine punishing two disrespectful girls.
How Porcupine Got His Quills:
Menominee legend about Porcupine being punished for his vanity.
Innu legend about a porcupine grandmother who helps two bear children escape from a cannibal monster.
The Girl Who Climbed to the Sky Arapaho Star Story:
Arapaho legends about a woman who married a porcupine spirit.
Recommended Books of Porcupine Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories, and Ceremonies:
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Book about the meanings of Indian animal spirits, including a chapter on porcupines.
Native American Animal Stories:
Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
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