|Spiritual Poetry posted March 30, 2014|
It's best to be happy with who--or what--we are...
A Murder Most Fowl
by Dean Kuch
Poem of the Month Contest Winner
Poem of the Month
~ Many people are under the mistaken impression that crows were viewed as harbingers of death in Native American cultures, but in fact, that is not true at all. I personally do not know of any Native American tribe in which crows were seen as omens of death. Indeed, just the opposite, seeing a crow was (and still is!) considered good luck by many tribes. It is true that crows will eat carrion, but so do many other animals not typically associated with the dead such as bald eagles, bears, etc. In Native American folklore, the intelligence of crows is usually portrayed as their most important feature. In some tribes, the crow is conflated with the raven, a larger cousin of the crow that shares many of the same characteristics. In other tribes, Crow and Raven are distinct mythological characters.
~ One Chippewa Indian story entitled,The Magic Pots, tells a story about disobedient children who were turned into crows.
Birds have played many roles in Native American cultures. Frequently they serve as messengers from the Creator, or between humans and the spirit world. Eagle plays a leadership role in the folklore of many tribes, while Raven is frequently portrayed as culture hero, trickster, or both. Other Native American birds play the parts of heroes, villains, wise advisers, flighty suitors, jealous competitors, and everything in between.
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