Published on December 2, 2012 by Casey
Buzzards are viewed negatively in most Native American tribes. In some tribes, they are seen as unclean and associated with death. In others, seeing buzzards flying is considered an omen of danger or strife. In Native American legends, Buzzard is most often portrayed as an aggressive troublemaker who lies, cheats, hoards resources that should belong to everyone, or uses his large size to bully other birds.
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Despite the negative roles they play in folklore, buzzards are still respected clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Buzzard Clans include the Menominee tribe (whose Turkey Buzzard Clan is named Apaeskasiw) and the Miami tribe. Some eastern tribes, like the Seminole and Lenape, have also had a Buzzard Dance among their tribal dance traditions.