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Native American Swan Mythology

Swans do not appear very often in the mythology of Native American tribes. When swans do appear in Native American legends, they are usually grouped together with other waterfowl like geese and ducks, most often portrayed as gullible or foolish characters taken advantage of by tricksters. Swans are also considered particularly beautiful and elegant birds in many tribes, and swan maidens sometimes play a role as eligible brides in Native American folklore. Swans are associated with the sky in some tribal traditions, and as with other white waterbirds, swan feathers are considered a symbol of harmony and spirituality.

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Swans are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Swan Clans include the Ottawa tribe.

Native American Swan Gods and Spirits

Urubutsin (Kamaiura)

Native American Legends About Swans

*Wenebojo and the Dancing Geese * Manabozho and the Hell-Diver * Manabush and the Birds * The Shut-Eye Dance:
    Ojibwe and Menominee legends about the culture hero tricking gullible swans and geese so he could eat them.

Recommended Books of Swan Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Birds of Algonquin Legend:
    Interesting collection of folklore about Indian swans and other birds in Algonquian tribes.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend, and Superstition:
    A good book on the meaning of birds in world mythology, including North and South America.



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