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Tanana is the tribal shaman woman in Kenai's tribe in Disney's 2003 animated feature film, Brother Bear.



Warm and wise, Tanana is much beloved by her tribe, and she cares deeply for them all, acting as their shamaness, healer, and grandmotherly figure. Her totem is beauty.

She understands that the Great Spirits work in ways known only to them and never questions the totems they choose for those who come of age in her tribe. As such, she expects the same of her tribe, stating "there is no trading" when it comes to totems, and impresses the meanings of the totems into those who come of age, as well as the wisdom that they must learn how to live by what their totems represent.

She has a sense of humor and a curious side (shown when she "examined" Kenai after he'd been turned into a bear as one of the multiple instances of violating his "personal space") and possesses great insight.

Physical appearance[]

Tanana is an elderly proto-Athabascan woman with grey, plaited hair. She wears a spring parka made of animal hide and lined with fur. She also wears mukluks that she can easily slip on and off.

Role in the film[]

Tanana gives tribe members their totems when they are of age. As Kenai awakes as a bear after being swept along by a river, she tells him that he must travel to the "mountain where the lights touch the earth" to be changed back into a man by Sitka. After Kenai chooses to remain a bear and earns his title as a man through his love for Koda, Tanana leads the ceremony where he officially becomes a man.



  • She is similar to Kekata from Pocahontas, as they are both shamans.
  • She is named after the Tanana River and people, and the town of Tanana, Alaska. However, her name is pronounced slightly differently, with the stress on the second syllable rather than the first.
  • Her name means "trail water" in Koyukon.

v - e - d
Brother Bear (Soundtrack/Video) • Brother Bear 2 (Soundtrack/Video) • Video game

Cancelled projects: Brother Bear: The Series

Disney Parks
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

Entertainment: Hakuna Matata Time Dance PartyRivers of Light: We Are One
Fireworks: Wonderful World of AnimationWondrous Journeys

Brother Bear: KenaiKodaRutt and TukeDenahiSitkaTananaTugKoda's motherThe RamsMammothsSockeye SalmonThe Great SpiritsCaribou Stampede

Brother Bear 2: NitaAtkaChilkootSiqiniq and TaqqiqAnda and KataInnokoBering

Great SpiritsTransformationOn My WayWelcomeNo Way OutLook Through My EyesWelcome to This DayFeels Like HomeIt Will Be Me

Deleted: Fishing Song