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Native American Squirrel Mythology

In Native American folktales, squirrels are most noted for their noisy and aggressive behavior. Squirrel characters frequently spread gossip, instigate trouble between other animals, or annoy others with their rudeness and bossiness. However, in some stories they are praised for their industrious food-gathering and courage, and among southeastern tribes, squirrels are honored as caretakers of the forest. Some Northwest Coast tribes consider the squirrel a messenger who may bring warnings of danger to the people.

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Squirrels are also used as clan animals by some Native American cultures. Tribes with Squirrel Clans include the Menominee (whose Pine Squirrel Clan is named Onawanik) and the Chickasaw.

Native American Squirrel Gods and Spirits

Mikew (Wabanaki)
Laqan Kachina (Hopi)

Native American Legends About Squirrels

*When Squirrels Were Huge * Klouskap Squirrel Tale * Glooscap Shrinks the Animals * Gluskabe the Transformer * The Giant Squirrel:
    Algonquian legends about how the squirrel got its small size.
Black Squirrel Story:
    Choctaw legend about the origin of solar eclipses.
*Cooking Indian Squirrels:
    Algonquin folklore about squirrels.
*Old Man and the Roasted Squirrels:
    Blackfoot legend about the culture hero tricking gullible squirrels into becoming his meal.

Recommended Books of Squirrel Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Rabbit Plants the Forest:
    Children's picture book illustrating a Cherokee legend about Rabbit helping Saloli the squirrel plant trees.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.



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