The Meaning Behind the Animals of Hogwarts Houses: The Hufflepuff Badger
Each of the Hogwarts Houses is associated with an animal emblem along with its colors. While the similarity between Gryffindor’s values and the bravery of lions is one of the more obvious connections when it comes to these mascots, I wanted to explore how all of the Houses’ traits are represented through the emblems they were assigned. I’ve already posted my research about Gryffindor’s lion and Ravenclaw’s eagle, so up next is Hufflepuff’s badger. I myself am a good old loyal Hufflepuff, so I will try to refrain from writing a novel about this fantastic House and its mighty badger.
Badgers are prevalent in Native American folklore. These animals are typically portrayed as hardworking, protective, and family oriented. In a traditional story told by the Sioux, a family of badgers works hard to maintain a good home with plenty of food to eat. When a starving black bear visits their home and asks for food, the badgers graciously share their meal. The bear becomes a regular visitor, and the badgers continue to be hospitable. One day the bear comes back, rejuvenated from the care of the badgers, and throws the family out of their home. The badger family is rewarded for their giving nature by being rescued by an avenger spirit who reclaims their home for them. Badgers are also a clan animal in some Native American cultures. This further supports the Hufflepuff tendency of gathering family and friends close. Badgers are also credited with helping humans learn which plants are safe to eat. This is an interesting connection since Professor Sprout, the Herbology teacher, is head of Hufflepuff House.
Badgers are thought to be enduring. They lead relatively quiet lives and are often underestimated since they don’t show their ferocity until attacked. This reflects the way the other three Houses view Hufflepuff House. Hufflepuff is shrugged off as a bit of a joke, but they were the second most represented House in the battle of Hogwarts.
The badger was thought to be the “story keeper” of the animal kingdom, garnering wisdom, strength, courage, and persistence from the stories it had assembled within its mind. During the Iron Age in Germany, a prince was laid to rest with a badger skin for covering to give him the strength and courage he needed for the afterlife.
It was the belief of the Celts that badgers served as guides during dreams. Many myths suggest the animals as a sort of conscious, leading you to defend your moral and spiritual beliefs. To encounter a badger in a dream is said to be a precursor to surviving a great hardship. Celtic myths also showed the badger as fighting for rights and showing tenacity and courage.
So all in all, badgers are pretty cool creatures. They represent the Hufflepuff attributes very well. As I said, I may be slightly biased toward the black and yellow, but it would seem to me that badgers aren’t nearly as lame as everyone makes them out to be.