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Native American Woodworm Mythology

Woodworms play an important role in traditional religions of the Northwest Coast. Although small and seemingly insignificant, woodworms were considered powerful medicine animals due to their ability to bore through hard wood, and different northwestern tribes ascribed different magical powers to them, including shapeshifting, supernatural knowledge, prophecy, and healing.

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Woodworms are also used as a clan animal in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Woodworm Clans include the Tlingit. Woodworm is used as a clan symbol in some Northwest Coast tribes, and woodworm crests can sometimes be found carved on totem poles.

Native American Woodworm Gods and Spirits

Donyakdane (Iroquois)

Native American Legends About Woodworms

*Kutze-ce-te-ut, the Wood Worm:
    Haida legend about a girl who raised a woodworm monster.
*The Buzzard Brothers and Wood-Worm:
    Achumawi legend about a persistent Woodworm reviving his slain kinsmen.

Recommended Books of Woodworm Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Insect Mythology:
    Interesting book on the meaning of woodworms and other insects in world mythology, including Native North America and Mesoamerica.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.



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