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Native American Snipe Mythology

The snipe is a symbol of water and storms in many Native American tribes. The Hopi name for Snipe, Patsro (also spelled Patszro or Patsiro), literally means "water bird." The cries of snipe are believed to be an omen of coming rain. Snipes do not appear very often in Native American mythology, but in the Koasati creation myth, Snipe was responsible for releasing sickness into the world.

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Snipes are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Snipe Clans include the Ojibwe tribe (whose Snipe Clan is named Jiwiiskwiiskiwe) and the Cayuga, Onondaga, and Tuscarora tribes.

Native American Snipe Gods and Spirits

Patszro Kachina (Hopi)

Native American Legends About Snipes

Snipe and Toad:
    Cochiti legend telling how the snipe got its unusual bill.
Coyote Becomes Chief of the Salmon:
    Salish legend about the travels of Coyote, including the trickster's creation of the first water-snipe.

Recommended Books of Snipe Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Raven and Snipe:
    Modern retelling of a Northwest Coast legend about Snipe getting the better of the trickster Raven.
Birds of Algonquin Legend:
    Interesting collection of legends about snipes and other birds in Algonquian tribes.
Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend, and Superstition:
    A good book on the role of birds in world mythology, including North and South America.



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