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Native American Robin Mythology

Robins are often portrayed as industrious, "can-do" birds, who are frequently rewarded for their work ethic. In some tribes, the bright red color of a robin's breast is associated with fire, and robins feature in legends as either guardian or thief of fire. In other legends, the caring parental behavior of robins is noted, and in some tribes it is considered good luck for a pregnant woman to see robins feeding their young. In the Blackfoot tribe, robins are a symbol of peace and the presence of robins was said to be a sign that a camp or village would be safe from attack. The Hopi see the robin as a directional guardian, associated with the south.

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Native American Robin Gods and Spirits

Opeechee (Ojibwe)

Native American Legends About Robins

How Tol-le-loo Stole Fire:
    Miwok legend about Mouse stealing fire from Robin.
Nukumi and Fire:
    Mi'kmaq legend about Robin bringing fire to the demigod Kluskap.
Iyash and the End of the World:
    Severn Ojibwe legend about the hero Iyash, and how he created the first robin.
    (Note that in the version of this story our Ojibwe speakers know, the bird he turned his mother into was a woodpecker, not a robin.)
Toad and Robin Folklore:
    Algonquin Indian beliefs about robins.
*Ojibwe Indian Robin Story * Opichi, The Boy Who Became A Robin:
    Ojibwe legends about a boy's quest for a guardian spirit.

Recommended Books of Robin Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

How The Robin Got Its Red Breast:
    Wonderful version of a classic Northwest Coast Robin legend, presented by the Sechelt Nation of Canada.
Birds of Algonquin Legend:
    Interesting collection of legends about robins and other birds in Algonquian tribes.
Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories, and Ceremonies:
    Book by a Karuk elder about the meanings of Indian animal spirits, including a chapter on robins.
Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend, and Superstition:
    A good book on the meaning of robins and other birds in world mythology, including Native North America.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.



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