Pine martens feature in a variety of myths, legends and folklore from around the world, including the following:
Pine martens (and weasels) in Romania are believed to plait horses’ manes in the night, resulting in twisted and tangled manes the next morning.
In Croatia, marten furs were used in medieval times as units of currency. Today, the currency is the Kuna, which is also the Croatian word for pine marten, and each coin bears an image of a pine marten. Pine martens are still valued in Croatia as important controllers of rodents by rural communities, and are known as ‘the golden ones’.
In North America, the Ojibwe Indians have the Marten Clan or Waabizheshi Odoodeman. Clan members draw spiritual strength and guidance from wild martens, particularly focusing on their characteristics of agility and determination.
In the mythology of other tribes, martens are often portrayed as lucky spirits, brave heroes, and skilled, determined hunters.
Closer to home, there is the belief that the tip of the pine marten’s tail hides a claw or nail as a weapon to wreak great damage.
Information from the book Pine Martens by Johnny Birks