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Indian Lore Four
Native American Folklore & Superstition:
Animals & Celestial Bodies
Kathlamet- Birds all have different coloring because long ago, the girls of a village found a bright piece of copper of many colors. They took it to the village, and distributed it among the villagers, who were birds; each bird got a different color.
Seneca- When a person loves a dog, he or she receives great power.
Seneca- If you mistreat a dog, harm will come to you soon.
Lakota- The hawk’s spirit is responsible for swiftness & stamina.
Puyallup- The calling loon indicates good fishing luck for the day.
Lakota- Frogs symbolize occult power.
Iroquois- Eagles are responsible for calling game to hunters, and they can occasionally restore life.
Tanaina- If you meet a “Hairy Man,” a large, hair-covered man-like creature who lives in the mountains, do not harm him and he will be helpful to you.
Seneca, Iroquois- During the Mid-Winter festival, there is a danger of being possessed by an animal spirit; this is not a permanent possession and is more a source of humor than concern.
Tsimshian- An owl flying over a man’s head means he will die soon.
Lakota- The male Elk is a symbol of sex and sexual prowess.
Ogala- Horses were rubbed down with sage to protect them during battle or the hunt.
Tlingit- Wooden whales are carved & carried for good fishing luck.
Arapaho- Owls occasionally kidnap children.
Ojibwa- The call of the loon is thought to say, “I want to marry!” and foretells upcoming marriage to young boys.
Iroquois- At the New Year’s festival, special strawberry jam is eaten to honor the spirit of the Bear.
Dunne-za- Swans can fly straight up to heaven and back without dying.
Lakota- Sometimes the spirit of a person’s deceased horse or dog will stay with its owner.
Lakota- Powdered turtle heart is a powerful medicine.
Okanagon- Rattlesnakes never bite anyone who respects & honors their spirit.
Tsimshian- The Sun is made of copper; therefore copper is sacred to the Sun.
Tillamook- Lunar eclipses are caused by the Moon’s distraction from shining, because he is talking to spirits.
Various- Unlike many European cultures, quite a few Native American tribes consider the Sun to be feminine and the Moon to be masculine.
Various- The Milky Way is the road taken by the dead to heaven.
Various- The shadow on the Moon is from the shade of a great oak tree from which the dead get their food.
Pawnee- The Sun’s fire is replenished regularly by his brother, Morning Star (Venus.)