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Native American Strawberry Mythology

Besides being a popular food item, strawberries played an important ceremonial role in some tribes. Some California Indian tribes, such as the Pomo, held special Strawberry Festivals or Strawberry Dances, representing the springtime renewal of life. (At least one tribe, the Kashaya, still hold a Strawberry Festival today.) Among the Iroquois, strawberries were symbols of blessing and thanksgiving. To the Cherokee and other southeastern tribes, strawberries were associated with love and happiness. Some Cherokee families still consider it good luck to have strawberries in the house. Strawberry leaves and roots also played a role in traditional Native American herbal medicine. The strawberry is considered one of the sacred Life Medicines of the Navajo tribe.

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Native American Legends About Strawberries

*The First Strawberry Story * The Origin of Strawberries:
    Cherokee folktale about the first strawberries helping a quarreling couple to reconcile.
*Legend of the Strawberry:
    Nipmuck legend about strawberries and forgiveness, also with information about the Indian Strawberry Festival.

Recommended Books of Strawberry Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Native Plant Stories:
    Excellent collection of Native American folklore about plants, by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Native American Food Plants:
    Comprehensive book on the names and traditional uses of food plants throughout Native North America.



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