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Native American Prairie Dog Mythology

Prairie dogs are not prominent animals in Native American mythology. Most often they appear in legends as food items. To the Cheyenne tribe, however, prairie dogs were a symbol of corn, and were honored in several ways. Southwest Indian cultures like the Navajo and Apache believed that prairie dogs had spirit power over water and rain. Plains Indian legends often associated prairie dogs with carelessness and foolishness, but they also represented humility and prairie dog medicine was used for healing in some Plains tribes, such as the Sioux.

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Prairie dogs are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Native Prairie Dog Clans include the Well-Off Prairie Dogs of the Crow Indian tribe. Some Sioux tribes also have a Prairie Dog Dance among their tribal dance traditions.

Native American Legends About Prairie Dogs

*Prairie-Dog and Rain:
    Jicarilla legend about Prairie Dog's powers over rain.
*The Man Saved By Prairie-Dogs:
    Jicarilla legend about Prairie Dog using his water medicine to save a dying warrior.
*The Killing of the Prairie Dogs:
    Chiricahua legend about a battle with prairie-dog monsters in Apache with English translation.
*Coyote Dances with the Prairie Dogs * Coyote Kills the Prairie Dogs * Coyote and the Prairie-Dogs:
    Chiricahua and Jicarilla Apache legends about Coyote outwitting gullible prairie dogs.

Recommended Books of Prairie Dog Stories from Native American Myth and Legend

Prairie Dog Goes to School * Who Wants To Be A Prairie Dog?:
    These are not traditional legends, but two charming modern Native American children's stories about prairie dogs
    written in Lakota Sioux and Navajo with English translation.
Prairie Dogs: A Wildlife Handbook:
    A book of facts and folklore about prairie dogs, including information from several Native American tribes.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.




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