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Native American Sturgeon Mythology

Sturgeons do not play a very important role in Native American mythology, featuring most often as a food item. Although sturgeon do not have the same spiritual importance to Native American culture that salmon do, there still are a number of traditional beliefs related to sturgeon fishing. Some Anishinabe and Menominee communities still hold a spring ceremony to honor the sturgeon. The Menominee Fish Dance is based around sturgeon, and some Sto:lo bands have a Sturgeon Dance as well. In some Northwest Coast tribes, pregnant women did not eat sturgeon for fear that it would make their babies' eyes small.

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Sturgeon are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Sturgeon Clans include the Menominee and the Ojibwe (whose Sturgeon Clan and its totem are called Name.)

Native American Sturgeon Gods and Spirits

Big Sturgeon (Menominee)
Rolling Heads (Cree)

Native American Legends About Sturgeons

*Mashenomak, The Fish Monster:
    The story of how the Menominee culture hero slew Big Sturgeon.

Recommended Books of Sturgeon Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Nanabosho, Soaring Eagle, and the Great Sturgeon:
    A nice retelling of a Chippewa Indian legend about two selfish fishermen learning lessons.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.



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