Fallacies and Myths About Muskrats
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Fallacies and Myths About Muskrats

Muskrats are part of folklore of the local Indian tribes and many legends have grown around this rodent. One of the more popular beliefs is that the Muskrat is an earth diver, meaning it is the only animal that can dive to the ocean floor and bring up earth. Muskrat is not a common animal and exists in swamps and such areas only
Muskrat is not a common animal all over the world, as its original habitat is America. Muskrats belong to the rat family and that is the reason the last part of the name incorporates the word rat. They are rodents that thrive in fresh water and have a furry skin. In fact they are quite akin to beavers, but Muskrats are aquatic rodents who have a greater kinship with mice and rats. Muskrats can spend hours in the water and thrive in marshy areas. Over the years Muskrats have been given many names like marsh rabbit, mud cat and mud beaver. Basically the Indian tribes of America have had a long association with it and the Algonquin Indian tribe called it Musquash. Muskrats are part of folklore of the local Indian tribes and many legends have grown around this rodent. One of the more popular beliefs is that the Muskrat is an earth diver, meaning it is the only animal that can dive to the ocean floor and bring up earth. This belief is very strong and the Muskrat is supposed to bring up the land from the ocean floor for the Creator or a hero who is going to make land. Some beliefs center on the Muskrat as a female deity who becomes the mother of the human race. This belief is very strong among the Algonquin traditions. Many people in the Americas do feel that the Muskrat brings luck. This belief is particularly strong among the native Indians. The folk tales further amplify that Muskrats bestow wealth and can bring success on braves who go for hunting. The belief that Muskrats can predict weather especially the onset of winter is very strong. Indian scan detect the onset of snow fall by observing the size and timing of the Muskrat lodges which they construct. Native American cultures also identify the Muskrat with a particular clan. Tribes with Muskrat Clans include the Chippewa tribe (whose Muskrat Clan and its totem are called Wazhashk) and the Menominee tribe. The Muskrat is considered a very important animal by native Indians in America Muskrat’s fur is used for coats and jackets. In addition they have over the ages been considered as a source of food especially for Catholics in Michigan. They consume muskrats on Lent on Ash Wednesday, and the Fridays when the eating of meat is prohibited (though fish is allowed). This tradition is almost 200 years old and dates from the 19th century. The Muskrat is not a popular animal but for Indians in America it has special significance

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