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Native American Mountain Goat Mythology

Mountain goats are not common characters in Native American folklore. Like other large prey animals, mountain goats are believed to have willingly given themselves to humans as food in some Native American cultures, and are therefore considered sacred and honored with a number of special rituals. This is particularly true in Northwest Coast tribes, where mountain goat hair is used to weave the ceremonial Chilkat blankets and other traditional textiles. Mountain goats are associated with the sky in some tribal traditions and are sometimes viewed as guardian spirits.

Mountain goats are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Mountain Goat Clans include the Hopi (whose Goat Clan is named Tsivaatongyam.) Mountain Goat is an important clan crest in some Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Haida, and can sometimes be found carved on totem poles.

Native American Legends About Mountain Goats

*The Revenge of the Mountain Goats:
    Cree legend about a friendship between a hunter and a mountain goat spirit.
Indian Mountain Goat Story:
    Lenape legend about a selfish mountain goat learning the importance of helping others.

Recommended Books of Related Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.



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