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Native American Legends: Moskwas (Musquash)

Name: Moskwas
Tribal affiliation: Abenaki
Alternate spellings: Moskuas, Muskuas, Musquash, Moskwaso, Moos-kwa-suh
Pronunciation: mos-kwuss
Type: Muskrat, Earthdiver

Moskwas the muskrat is one of the main characters of Abenaki creation mythology. Moskwas and Tolba the turtle were the two animals responsible for the creation of the earth, as Moskwas successfully dived to the bottom of the ocean to bring up mud and Tolba volunteered to carry the new land on his back. This myth is not told in the other Wabanaki tribes and may have been borrowed from neighboring cultures where it is more common, such as the Ojibwe or Iroquois tribes.

Moskwas Stories

*Abenaki Creation Story:
    Abenaki stories about Musquash helping to create the earth.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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Giants of the Dawnland:
    A good collection of Wabanaki legends told by a Penobscot Indian author.
Seven Eyes, Seven Legs:
    More traditional myths and folktales, told and illustrated by an Abenaki author.
Turtle Island: Tales of the Algonquian Nations:
    Anthology of legends from the Penobscot and other Algonquian tribes.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Engaging collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

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Additional Resources

 Abenaki mythology
 Abenaki nation
 Maine maps
 Eastern Woodlands people
 Algonquian language dictionary



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