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Native American Zinnia Mythology

Zinnia flowers and leaves are used by many southwestern tribes as medicinal and ritual herbs. The zinnia is considered one of the sacred Life Medicines of the Navajo tribe. To some Pueblo tribes zinnias are a symbol of wisdom, and they were fed to young children in hopes of making them grow up intelligent and well-spoken. More prosaically, zinnias were also used by southwestern tribes to make bright colors for dyes and paints.

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Native American Legends About Zinnias

Recommended Books of Zinnia Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Zinnia: How The Corn Was Saved:
    Beautiful picture book based on a legend about a Navajo boy who learns the secret of the zinnia.
Native Plant Stories:
    Excellent collection of Native American stories about plant spirits, by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Native American Ethnobotany:
    Comprehensive book on the names and traditional uses of flowers and other plants throughout Native North America.



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