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Native American Moose Mythology

Moose are one of several North American animals whose name has Native American origins. It is not known exactly which tribe first taught colonists the word for "moose," since moose names are extremely similar in many different northeastern Algonquian languages (moz in Abenaki, mus in Maliseet, mooz in Ojibwe, mos in Mohegan, etc.)

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Despite the great importance of moose to Native people in Canada and the northern United States, moose do not play a major role in Native American folklore, appearing most often simply as a food animal. In Ojibwe and Cree traditions, moose are symbols of endurance and survival. In Wabanaki folklore of northern New England and the Maritimes, some legends say that Moose was once a monster who was defeated by the culture hero Glooskap.

Moose are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Moose Clans include the Chippewa (whose Moose Clan and its totem are called Moozoonsii) and the Menominee.

Native American Moose Gods and Spirits

Hottah (Dogrib)

Native American Legends About Moose

*A Moose Story:
    Abenaki legends about how the moose got its crooked nose.
*Gluskabe Kills the Monster Moose:
    Penobscot story about the culture hero Gluskabe defeating a giant moose.
The Catfish and the Moose:
    Menominee legend about Moose giving catfish their strange appearance.
How the People Hunted the Moose:
    M�tis-Cree legend about the Moose People giving themselves as food for the people.

Recommended Books of Moose Stories from Native American Myth and Legend
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Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about moose and other animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

Back to Animals tales
Back to Meaning of American Indian myths
Back to our Monster tale website

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