Tribal Magic, also known as Aboriginal Magic,
is a direct descendent of the magical practices of prehistoric man.
Indeed, many of the practices, symbols and materials
used in Tribal Magic seem to have remained virtually unchanged since prehistoric
times; others have evolved as groups moved to a new location or made contact
with other tribes. Some of the
most startling examples can be found during the early Colonial Period
of American History, when the Native people first discovered the European
The histories, practices, materials and other
related matters set forth here will deal exclusively with the Native Tribal
Magic of North America, with an emphasis on tribes residing in the present-day United States. Given
the nature of Tribal Magic, practices and materials vary so widely that
each continent of the world requires its own documentation.
Keep in mind that this article is intended as
an overview, and not as a practical manual.
Tribal Magic rituals should not be attempted by anyone not of Native
American lineage, or at least those being taught by a Medicine Man or
Woman (or, in rarer instances, a Tribal Shaman).
There is indeed a fair amount of discussion amongst Tribal Magic
Practitioners as to whether anyone not of Aboriginal lineage can even
make Tribal rituals work. There
is little documentation on this argument either way; even those practitioners
who do not have the appearance of being Native American usually seem to
have at least one Native American ancestor.
Due to the lack of written languages and record-keeping practices
among most tribes, we have no written evidence to either support or disprove
(This does not mean to suggest that the Native
American people had no methods of record-keeping, just that such methods
generally did not include the individual “vital statistics” considered
necessary in today’s society. Native
People often kept records of events important to the tribe as a whole.
One of the best examples is the “Winter Count”
used by Plains Indian tribes, which consisted of symbols painted on a
special animal hide. The symbols
stood for an important or outstanding event that affected the tribe during
a given year.
Just a note about the terms Indian and Native American. Many people
within the Native American community find “Indian” an acceptable term;
they see it as a variation not of the Spanish word Indios
(denoting someone from the country of
), but of In
Dios (“of God”). People outside
the Native American community often use the phrase “Native American” as
a respectful term signifying that someone’s ancestors were living on the
American continent before the arrival of the European explorers.
As the authors of this piece are not of Native
American heritage, the phrase “Native American” will be used for the remainder
of this paper. Where possible,
we have noted both the name the groups members call themselves and the
popular name for a tribe or group: for example, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois).
Present-day magical practices rooted in European
methods will hereafter be referred to as “Modern Magic”, a term widely
accepted despite its inaccuracies.
In Modern Magic, male practitioners are called
“wizards” and female practitioners are called “witches”.
This varies in different parts of the world
(references to “sorcerers”, “warlocks”, and “magicians” are found in various
cultures). Among Tribal Magic practitioners,
the usual reference is “Medicine Man” and “Medicine Woman”.
This is generally an adult practitioner who
has been trained by a more experienced Medicine Man or Woman.
(The term “medicine” usually refers to a working
of magic, which differs greatly from the definition of “medicine” in the
health care field.) The practices
for training vary from tribe to tribe and region to region.
Tribal elders set the rules for training and
expected abilities; those who wish to practice off the reservation must
also pass an extra set of exams; this additional certification is handled
through the Magical Subdivision of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
Tribal Magic also recognizes people known as
“Shamans”. These can be either male or female, and are fewer
in number. They are concerned with
communing with the Spirits and magical creatures of a location and exploring
the metaphysical aspects of Tribal Magic, as opposed to the Medicine Man
or Woman, who works more closely with people and focuses more often on
practical aspects of magic.
Many tribes have their own words for their Magical
Practitioner. One of the most prominent
examples is among the Dineh (Navajo) of the American Southwest.
Their word is hataalii, which denotes a Medicine Man/Woman or a Medicine
Singer. Among the Dakota, the term
is wepiye, and among the Gitskan of the Northwest Coast, a shaman is called a halaait. Whenever possible,
is it best to use the tribal word for Medicine Workers, because a number
of tribes see “witches” as inherently evil or as the workers of improper
medicine; also, the term “Medicine Man/Woman” has different meanings to
different tribes. “Medicine Man/Woman”
is the official term accepted by the BIA.
A Tribal Magic “ritual” is in many respects
the equivalent of a Modern Magical “spell”.
Both spells and rituals consist of a series of steps needed to
make something happen. Tribal rituals
tend to be more complex than spells, but the effects also tend to be longer
Observations on Tribal Magic Techniques and Beliefs
Unlike the present situation in Europe
and other parts of the world, the lines between
magical and non-magical folk is rather blurred in the Americas. Some
of the magical communities in southern California and around Sedona, Arizona, for example, are so open about their magical practices that non-magical
folk use it as a selling point for drawing people into their communities.
(Perhaps not surprisingly, the Muggles living in these communities
tend to be artists, writers, and other people with creative talents.
These folk have a tendency to see things that so-called “mainstream”
Muggles can’t or don’t see, and so the open presence of witches and wizards
is generally shrugged off as yet another idiosyncrasy of the artistic
Much of the Tribal Magic practiced in the United States is done on reservation property
(tracts of land set aside for use by specific
Native American tribes). Since
these reservations are, in effect, separate and sovereign “countries”,
they are allowed to make their own rules concerning the practice of magic
within reservation borders. In
many places, magic is practiced openly, and everyone living on the reservation
knows who the Medicine Men and Women are.
Prior to the European Age of Exploration, almost
every member of the tribe participated in or practiced various magical
rituals. Among non-Native Americans,
an estimated 15 to 20 percent of the population seems able to work magic.
Among Native Americans, the number of magical
practitioners jumps to around 60 percent. There is no
clear explanation for this, although several theories exist.
One theory is that since tribal groups are quite
small (Native Americans presently make up about one percent of the United States’ total population) the gene pool is relatively compact, and the genetic
tendency toward magic is much higher.
A second theory is that belief in one’s ability to perform magic
has a much greater effect than was previously thought; children who grow
up seeing family and friend performing magic will naturally assume that
they, too, can perform magic, and this belief becomes a self-fulfilling
Unlike its present-day counterpart, which is
based on European practices and methodology, Tribal Magic is highly localized
and personalized. Magical practices
vary among tribes, depending on the materials, beliefs, and history of
the people of the area. It is unlikely
that two people will perform the same ritual in exactly the same way,
even within a tribe; certain elements of the ritual will change depending
on the background of the person performing it.
For example, many rituals require, among other
things, the presence or use of an object significant to the practitioner.
For one practitioner, such an object might be a feather from a
specific kind of bird; for another it might be a certain type of stone,
or part of a plant. Both practitioners
will perform the same basic ritual, but will use different objects.
This is similar to the Modern Magic requirement that each person’s
wand be unique; different wands will be of different length, type of wood,
and will contain a certain magical core.
Each person will have one combination of those items that will
work best for him/her.
Symbols and glyphs (specifically, symbols which
are carved or engraved) in Tribal Magic are very important, as are colors,
certain types of feathers, stones, and other materials.
A ritual that works for a specific tribal group
may have no effect for another. Similarly,
different tribes may use completely different rituals to accomplish the
A number of Tribal Magic Practitioners have
specialty areas, depending on their own personal interests and/or the
influences of their Spirit Companions (of whom more will be said later).
Specialties include Magical Creatures, Magical
Plants, Weather Manipulation/Prediction, Healing, and Magical Items.
Many practitioners also specialize in rituals
of one particular culture or geographical area.
Tribal Magic is very closely tied to nature,
and to the region in which the ritual is being performed.
Very little of it will work outside the American
continent; practices from North America will work only moderately in Central or South America
(and vice versa) because of the differences
in symbolism and materials.
Unlike the European methods of magic, Tribal
Magic draws directly upon the creatures, minerals, plants, and other parts
of nature; Tribal Magic represents, not humans using natural items to
do as they please, but humans literally directing the power of nature
in cooperation with the creatures and items that produce magic.
(It would be like a wizard using a dragon, instead of just the
dragon’s scales or heartstrings.)
In Tribal Magic, power is believed to exist
in all things, living or otherwise; this power is often seen as alive
and the source of magic. According
to one member of the Wazhazhe (Osage):
“All life is wakan (power).
So also is everything that exhibits power, whether
in action, as the winds and drifting clouds, or in passive endurance,
as the boulder by the wayside. For
even the commonest sticks and stones have a spiritual essence which must
be reverenced as a manifestation of the all-pervading mysterious power
that fills the universe.” The Kwakiutl
of the Northwest Coast
believed that power is an invisible force found
in all beings and objects, which can at times take on physical shape and
which constantly changes. The Lakota
of the Plains believe that not only does the power exist, but that any
object that acquires the power also becomes wakan
and should be respected.
It is difficult to separate the religious aspects
of Tribal Magic from the day-to-day practices.
Unlike Modern Magic, Tribal practitioners acknowledge
the individuality of the sources of their magic, and strive to use the
power with the source’s consent. Most
Tribal Magic practitioners believe they must maintain strong ties with
nature, with the sources of magic. If
they abuse nature and power, nature will die and power will be taken away. Many of the
rituals still practiced are intended totally or in part to maintain contact
with and respect for nature and wakan.
One last point: keep in mind that many Native
Americans practice Modern Magic in place of or in addition to Tribal Magic.
Native Americans are renowned for their ability to adapt to changing
environments; knowledge of Modern Magic is as useful as a knowledge of
computers would be in the Muggle world.
However, as with language, history, and beliefs,
traditional Native American Tribal practices are enjoying a renewed interest
with the present generation. In
many respects, magical practices and techniques are much easier to revive
than other areas of lost tribal culture, since one of the key “ingredients”
in Tribal Magic is the presence and help of a Spirit Guide (see entry
below for more on these mysterious companions).
Items and Materials in Tribal Magic
Modern Magic practitioners may consider the
idea of face paint or colored sand as being “quaint” or “primitive”, but
the fact is that color plays an important role in Tribal Magic.
Ceremonies will produce different effects depending
upon the color of face paint, symbols, or other materials used by the
Medicine Man/Woman. Color meanings
differ widely from one tribe to another; an entire research paper could
be devoted to this topic.
For example, among the Dineh, colors in their
sand paintings usually refer to directions, and often have other symbolic
meanings as well. White symbolizes
the East, spiritual powers of various kinds, youth, or dawn.
Black stands for the North, for old age, death,
witchcraft, and night. Blue symbolizes
the South, middle age, and summer, although in certain sand paintings
it can also have negative meanings. Yellow
stands for the West, for autumn, twilight, and maturity.
Red doesn’t have a directional value, but it
represents power, life, and sometimes danger.
Among Plains tribes, red often stood for blood,
battle, or life; yellow for daylight; light blue for the sky or water;
dark blue for mountains or victory. Green
usually stood for plants; brown for the earth or sometimes for animals;
black was night or sometimes war; white was snow, winter, or purity/cleanliness.
The Tribal Magic counterpart of the Latinized
“command words” are hand signs. This
grew out of the use of hand signs as a form of communication for trading
and other social interaction between tribes who spoke widely different
verbal languages. In Tribal Magic,
the wand (which is a mainstay of Modern Magic) is seldom used; Medicine
Men and Women are more likely to use a staff or articles from a Medicine
Most of the hand signs used in Tribal Magic
come more or less directly from those used by the Plains tribes, who developed
an extensive vocabulary in the 1800s and 1900s.
(The tribes in this vast region spoke dozens of dialects representing
no fewer than six different families of languages.
Direct verbal communication was, obviously, extremely difficult.)
Most of the signs are simple and straightforward,
although many have been invented to represent concepts rather than actual
objects or motions.
Most Tribal Magic rituals use or require music
in some form, either vocal or instrumental, or both.
This, of course, varies among tribes and the
The most commonly used, and easiest to produce,
is vocalization. While few Medicine
Men or Women receive formal voice lessons, most eventually become respectable
or accomplished singers.
Drumming is also common.
Depending on the type of ritual, a Medicine
Man or Woman may use the drum alone, or may require a trained individual
or team of drummers to perform as part of the ceremony.
Many rituals include rattles, which are made
of different materials, depending on the area and purpose of the ritual.
Rattles made of elm bark are used during Midwinter
ceremonies among the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois); this ceremony results in
a type of Protection Charm, and can also carry healing properties as well.
Rattles made of gourds, turtle shell, hoof, horn, leather, and
bone have also been used.
Flutes are occasionally used, but this is much
rarer. For one thing, the practitioner
usually needs to have at least one hand free to perform hand signs, a
difficult proposition under those circumstances.
Unlike dance in modern-day Europe and America,
dance in Tribal Magic is community-oriented and only partially used as
entertainment. There are seldom
dance “partners” involved. Men
and Women dance separately, and generally use different steps.
Dance serves several purposes beyond entertainment:
certain dances build up reservoirs of magic for Medicine Men/Women.
Dances are used as part of certain spells, or are an expression
of gratitude to spirits and other sources of magic.
Dances can also serve as a “recipe” for a spell, with steps, movements,
rhythms, etc. reminding the person performing the dance of how the spell
should be worked.
In some cases, Medicine Men/Women use dance
almost exclusively as their method of casting spells; symbols, colors,
magical items, etc. are part of the dance “regalia” (costume), in the
same way that symbols, colors, etc. are used in Sand Painting rituals
(see entry on Sand Paintings, below).
Charms: These are items that hold power or actual spells.
Examples of charms include stones, arrowheads,
carved wood pieces, and so on, depending on the culture and the individual
Medicine Man or Woman.
Medicine Bundles: usually a hide bag or other container that
holds various magical items needed for rituals.
The contents of a Medicine Bundle will differ depending on the
owner, his/her repertoire of rituals, and the specialty area s/he practices.
For example, one Chahiksichahiks (Pawnee) medicine
bundle contained a pipe, tobacco, paints, feathers or other items from
birds, and corn, plus various items of personal value to the owner.
Feathers: Probably one of the most readily
identifying features of Native American Tribal Magic is the use of feathers
for decoration and ceremonies. Again,
a whole paper could be written on the various uses and meanings of feathers.
A Medicine Man/Woman will use different feathers depending on the
type of ritual, based on the region in which the ritual originated.
Medicine Men/Women may use feathers as a personal item in a ritual.
Feathers may be dyed certain colors for rituals;
some ceremonies call for notches to be cut in feathers, or for parts of
the feather to be stripped. Feathers can
also be used to symbolize various birds in rituals.
Masks: Masks are found in use all over the United States.
Masks are made from a variety of materials,
including wood, fabric, hide, and corn husks.
Like petroglyphs and other symbols, masks are often used to represent
various animals, spirits, or other providers of magic.
The tribes of the Northwest Coast use masks
in many ceremonies, but one of the best know instances of mask use is
among the False Face Society of the Haudenosaunee.
The masks often represent a disease or evil spirit, and are used
in rituals warding off what would be considered Curses or Hexes in Modern
Pipes0pt'>: probably one of the best-known Tribal Magic items from the Plains, the
pipe is used in a wide variety of rituals, including ceremonies to ward
off evil, bestow protection, attract game animals, or to call upon the
local spirits. The making
and use of pipes have an entire set of ceremonies surrounding them, depending
on the tribes and the purpose for which they will be used.
(See also the entry on Tobacco in the Magical
Totems: are carved or painted (or both) representatives of a particular animal
or spirit. Probably the best known
totems are found among the Northwest Coast tribes, who are world-famous
for their totem poles and the totems painted and carved on houses and
In many cases, the totem used by a Northwest
Coast practitioner will represent a family animal ancestor; not surprisingly,
people of a particular family tend to work magic best with an item from
the family totem spirit.
Incidentally, the phrase “low man on the totem
pole” as meaning someone of little importance is inaccurate.
Often the bottom figure supports or holds up
the other figures, making the bottom symbol quite important indeed.
On some totem poles, the bottom figure was chosen
because of aesthetics, not because of the figure’s importance.
The ability to “read” a totem pole depends on
knowing the background of the pole and of the family or person who commissioned
it. Some poles tell a family history
or story; others are similar to grave markers, and a few, called “ridicule
poles”, are something of a social commentary.
Despite the fact that very few Native American
tribes developed written alphabets, most tribal groups used some form
of symbols or glyphs. Symbols can
be used for a variety of purposes: to identify personal items, record
some important event, represent something in a ritual, or to mark an area
for a specific purpose. Petroglyphs
found near rivers on the Northwest Coast, for example, are believed to
have been used to insure that fish swam up certain rivers, or to call
(The rain would raise the river level and allow
or encourage the fish to come upriver.) As fish is
a major source of food among Northwest Coastal people, these petroglyphs
served an important purpose.
In Tribal Magic rituals, symbols usually represent
the animals, plants, spirits, and other sources of natural magic (weather,
directions, etc.). Symbols range
from the highly representational (the symbol does not necessarily look
like what it symbolizes) to the obvious.
Probably one of the most often used symbols
is that of the circle, which seems to have meaning for almost every Native
American group. The circle represents
many things: the cycle of seasons, the path of life, the inclusiveness
of nature, and so on. In Plains
rituals, dancing is often done in a circular, clockwise direction.
Some prominent examples of symbols:
Newspaper Rock, Painted Forest National Park, Arizona: this
boulder is literally covered with symbols.
Anthropologists are still trying to determine exactly what the
stone represents -- is it a meeting place for many tribes, an attempt
at writing out a story, a marker of some sort, or a prayer/note to the
We may never know.
(the Peterborough Petroglyphs),
Peterborough County, Ontario, Canada: contains
over 900 figures, including various animals, plants, humans/humanoids,
solar figures, etc. The Anishinabe
(Ojibwe or Chippewa) word Kinomagewapkong
means “rocks that teach”. (Note the
word “mage” in the middle!) It
is possible that this was a training area for Medicine Men/Women, or the
location of series of tribal rituals dealing with hunting, weather control,
and other magics.
, Petroglyph Beach, Wrangle, Alaska: These glyphs
are inscribed in a number of stones along the beach.
Residents estimate about 40 glyphs can be found
in the area (an exact number is difficult to determine because some of
the glyphs appear and disappear at various times, suggesting that the glyphs are involved in some sort
of working spell). Most of them
seem to be related to sea creatures and water.
Sand Paintings: used during rituals among the Dineh, Sand
Paintings usually have ties to Dineh mythology. The symbols
stand for different directions, spirit beings, or other magical concepts.
Sand paintings are made from scratch for each
ritual, entirely by hand, and are destroyed when the ritual is complete. Like Dance,
Sand Paintings represent an alternative method of spell casting.
Wampum: Called Wampumpeoag by the
Algonquians, (the word was later shortened to “wampum” by European settlers
and explorers), these symbols are woven belts or strands of seashell
beads. Many wampum belts were used
as documents, depicting agreements, stories, or other forms of “written”
information. Wampum was
and occasionally still is used by Native Americans in New England, New
York State, and along the northern Atlantic coast.
Medicine Men and Women dealing in rituals of the Northeastern Woodlands
areas often use wampum to record spells; the symbols themselves can be
used as part of the ritual in certain cases.
One of the most mysterious and intriguing characteristics
of Tribal Magic is the presence of Spirit Companions (also known as Spirit
Guides). All Medicine Men and Women,
apparently without exception, have a Spirit Guide.
One mistaken belief is that a Spirit Guide in
Tribal Magic is the same as a “Familiar” in Modern Magical practices.
Both often have animal forms, but that is where
the similarity ends.
Familiars seem to be actual animals, mortal
creatures who are often more intelligent or capable than others of their
Spirit Guides, on the other hand, appear to
be sentient beings who are either immortal or who have incredibly long
lives which span hundreds of thousands of years.
The Spirit Guides themselves have never revealed much information
about their own backgrounds, even when asked pointblank.
One present theory is that Spirit Guides came
into existence when the American continent became a separate land mass
and its life forms became separate species.
One of the arguments against this is the fact that some of the
Spirit Guides seem to be manifestations of nonlife forms (mountains, various
kinds of stones and minerals, types of weather, etc.) which of course
existed long before the Americas became separate continents.
Many researchers believe that Spirit Companions have existed as
long as Earth itself, citing the cave paintings found in Lescaux, France
and other areas as evidence. This theory,
however, is also in dispute because a number of Medicine Men/Women have
claimed to have ghosts as Spirit Guides (see entry on Ghosts, below).
Spirit Guides appear to be able to exist in
more than one place at any given time.
The same Spirit Guide may be present in a number of cultures, and
can work with more than one Medicine Man or Woman at once.
Other Spirit Guides are unique to a certain
area or culture.
The Spirit Companion chooses the Medicine Man
or Woman, and not the other way around.
It’s not unusual for a Spirit Companion to mirror the personal
characteristics of their chosen, although this is not always the case.
Generally the Spirit Guide reveals itself during
an adulthood ritual, although again, this varies among cultures or even
Spirit Guides can take on physical form and
affect the physical world; more often they serve as advisors.
The sheer number of rituals, ceremonies, and
the variations thereof would tax even the best human memory, but Spirit
Companions seem to have no difficulty keeping track of all the information
down to the smallest detail. They
are also an excellent link to the past (since they were actually there),
if one can get them to reveal the information.
This may be one reason why most Native American cultures had no
written alphabet or in-depth recorded information; the Spirit Guides serve
as walking, talking libraries.
The term “beast” is used here to denote magical
creatures which do not have Spirit Companion representatives.
Beasts are considered monsters, rather than
animals (although some beasts do take on animal, or even human, form).
Many of these creatures have appeared in Muggle
folklore and urban legends as well as in Native American mythology.
While the United States, through the Magical
Affairs Department (MAD), has agreed to the 1692 International Code of
Wizarding Secrecy (although not until 1871 for various reasons), it must
be remembered that the United States is a very large country; like many
government departments, MAD has limited resources and staff.
Also, it must be pointed out that many of the
Native American tribal governments have not signed the International Code
of Wizarding Secrecy, and are therefore not bound by its rules.
Some pressure has been put upon tribal councils
to adhere to this Code, with varying degrees of success.
Not surprisingly, many residents of the United
States, whether Native American or not, are proud of the strange creatures
and beasts that inhabit their land, and resent any attempt by the government
to cover them up. Many communities
have erected statues, museums, and other markers in honor of the beasts
living in their area.
Most of the beasts located in the United States
fall into one of the following categories:
Humanoids: Beasts who resemble humans in form. Probably
the best-known example of this group are the Sasquatch, better known as “Bigfoot”.
These creatures inhabit the forests of Idaho, California, Oregon,
the state of Washington, and British Columbia (Canada).
They are large creatures, between six and twelve feet in height,
with the males slightly larger than the females.
Magizoologists have documented at least fifteen separate colonies
of the creatures, consisting of groups as small as four to as large as
resemble apes, with thick fur covering most
of their bodies. They walk upright,
are omnivorous, and live more or less peacefully with their human neighbors.
Interestingly enough, at least one colony of
these creatures appears to have migrated a considerable distance to take
up residence in the Marzolf Hills area of Missouri. How and why
these creatures made this amazing journey is unknown.
There are also a number of less neighborly humanoids
in the wilds of North America, including the Cannibal Baby of the Dakotas
and Nebraska, and the Adlet of Alaska and northern Canada.
These creatures appear mostly human, but consider
true humans as food. Fortunately,
most of these humanoids are few in number, having been hunted by both
Native Americans and their non-Indian neighbors.
At least one monster is on the endangered species
list. The Nagumwasuck, a race described
as thin and unspeakably ugly, at one time inhabited much of the area of
Nova Scotia and the state of Maine. Although
their features were unpleasant, the Nagumwasuck were (and are) a friendly,
helpful race who lived peacefully with their Native American neighbors
(most notably the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Indians).
Unfortunately, once the non-Native settlers
and colonists moved into the areas, they began exterminating the Nagumwasuck,
despite the fact that these creatures displayed a number of civilized
tendencies. (They are, for example,
fine sculptors.) The conversion
of the natural habitats into towns and cities has also taken a toll on
At this time, six small groups of Nagumwasuck
totaling about 125 individuals remain protected on preserves, two in Nova
Scotia and one in Maine.
Ogres: Like Sasquatch, ogres and ogresses
have been found in the Northwest Coastal areas of the Americas.
They appear to be much rarer than the Sasquatch, but much more dangerous.
Several Native American tales have documented
the existence of Basket Woman, an ogress known for carrying a basket upon
her back, which she uses to hold children she has kidnapped. As ogres are
known to be anthropophagous (they consume humans), they are considerably
less welcome as neighbors than the Sasquatch.
Fortunately, ogres are not particularly intelligent,
and clever human children have been known to outwit them and escape.
Magizoologists believe that ogres, like the original Native Americans
themselves, crossed a then-present land bridge approximately 60,000 years
ago from the Asian continent to the Americas.
A number of ogre tribes still live in various locations in the
These creatures seem to take one of two forms:
either as long, snakelike sea serpents, or as saurians (beasts with long
necks, lean bodies, and four flippers).
Naturally, they tend to live in various bodies of water, although
a few have been sighted moving about on land.
Whole books have been written about these creatures, but a short
list of the best known examples are as follows (the names of the tribes
who have witnessed these creatures are included in parentheses):
The Alkali Lake Monster, Alkali Lake, Nebraska;
The Bear Lake Serpent, Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho (Shoshone); The Cadbury Bay
Sea Serpent, British Columbia (Chinook); The Lake Champlain Monster, Lake
Champlain, New York/Vermont/Quebec; The Flathead Lake Monster, Flathead
Lake, Montana; The Illumine Lake Monster, Lake Alumna, Alaska (Aleut);
Manipogo, Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg, Lake Winnipegosis (Assiniboin);
Ogopogo, Lake Okanagan, British Columbia (Okanakane, Shushwap); The Lake
Utopia Monster, Lake Utopia, New Brunswick (Micmac); The White River Monster,
White River, Arkansas (Quapaw); The Lake Walker Monster, Lake Walker,
While we are including this creature under
“beasts”, there is a great deal of debate over whether or not this is
the proper classification. Some
scholars believe it (or they) should be placed in the Spirit Guide category,
although there is no evidence that anyone has ever actually had a Thunderbird
as a Spirit Companion. Indeed,
there is still no conclusive evidence as to whether the Thunderbird is
a single entity, or a group.
Stories among Native American tribes encountering
this creature vary widely. Among
the Plains tribes, the creature has been awarded “being” status, as a
few Medicine Men and Women in that region claim the Thunderbird has spoken
to them directly. However, among
the Native People of the eastern United States, the Thunderbird is considered
a “beast”, as it has evidenced no signs of intelligence and has reportedly
attacked people. Although the descriptions
of the creatures in each case are very similar, magizoologists still debate
whether there are actually two separate entities or species involved.
The Thunderbird is described as a huge bird,
apparently even larger than the Roc, a bird of immense size which originated
on the island of Madagascar. Most
often the creature appears accompanied by severe wind and rain, which
makes more accurate descriptions virtually impossible.
Most of the stories agree that the Thunderbird is a spirit of the
sky realm, with control over air and weather.
One of the most far-ranging of the American
beasts, the Wendigo has been encountered throughout the central areas
of both the United States and Canada.
They range in height from seven to ten feet, with a lean build,
and are aggressively anthropophagous.
Because of the cannibalistic natures of these creatures, Native
American tribes often hunt and kill them in self defense.
Wendigos are actually a bizarre combination
of the human and evil spirit. The
current theory is that they are the result of a creature similar to a
Lethifold (which in Europe and the Middle East is noted for smothering
and completely consuming its victim and leaving no traces behind); through some unknown trigger, the creature possesses
a human host, effectively killing the original personality and retaining
only the evil tendencies. (Magizoologists
theorize that Wendigos are thus related to chindi, malevolent spirits found in the
southwestern United States.)
Once this has taken place, the Wendigo begins
to draw upon the power of the natural world around it.
Some of the older Wendigo are said to be able
to control the weather, cause fevers and sickness, or blend undetectably
into the wilderness. All these
abilities are used to stalk and kill human travelers, upon which the Wendigo
Given the far-ranging nature and tendencies
of the Wendigo, the MAD retains an on-call team of spectrologists whose
main task is the detection and extermination of the creatures.
Every certified Medicine Man or Woman carries
fetishes primed with protective spells.
The ubiquitous silver bullets also make an acceptable weapon, but
it is recommended that the actual destruction of the wounded creature
be left to an expert.
It should be noted that all animals are considered
“magical” by Native Americans. Each
creature is thought to have a unique kind of magic; the type of result
or degree of power in a spell is often fine-tuned by using something from
a specific animal. (For example:
in a Memory Enhancement spell, if the caster wants to recall small details,
symbols of or fur from a mouse is useful.
If the caster wants to remember something long and complicated,
symbols of/items from a whale might be used.)
Like dragons, unicorns, phoenixes, etc. in Modern
Magic, some animals provide magical power that can be used by a wide variety
of practitioners. Not surprisingly,
a novice in training will often use items made from eagle, bear, buffalo,
wolf, or horse; these items carry a power that can be easily used by many
different practitioners, although usually the novice will eventually zero
in on one creature (or plant or mineral) that works best for him or her.
Some of the most prominent animals are listed
Bear: Among the Plains and Southwestern tribes, the bear is respected as the
symbol of invulnerability and healing.
Bears were once considered so powerful that bullets, weapons, and
other animals couldn’t hurt them, and it was believed that if a bear was
injured, it could find the herbs required to heal itself.
Bears also could heal and sometimes restore life to a human they
considered a friend.
Buffalo: Figuring strongly in the magical practices of the Plains tribes, the
buffalo represents long life, plenty, and leadership. Medicine Men
and Women use some part of the buffalo in almost every ceremony derived
from Plains tribes. It is not unusual
to see spells performed by a Medicine Man or Woman wearing a buffalo robe,
or using implements made from buffalo bone or horn.
Buffalo fur strands also provide a powerful
core for those modern practitioners who use wands.
Even more powerful is any hide, horn, bone or
other item taken from a white buffalo, which is extremely rare.
White buffalo items are usually in the possession
Coyote: Probably one of the best known of all magical animals, Coyote is considered
a Trickster and a Changer. Items
from Coyotes are particularly effective in Transfiguration rituals.
Among the Dineh, for example, “witches” are said to use a Coyote
pelt to take on the form of a Coyote, Wolf, or Dog as part of their Dark
magic. Victims can be transformed
into a coyote if such a pelt touches or is thrown over them. (Interestingly
enough, there are instances in which non-Native American witches and wizards
have gotten good results from Coyote items.
Experts are unable to explain why this is the
Eagles: The eagle is considered a sacred animal by virtually every Native American
tribe. Its presence is often credited with phoenix-like healing properties,
especially by the Anishinabe. Bald eagles are particularly cherished.
Eagle feathers have come to represent Native Americans in the minds
of non-Native people everywhere.
The Eagle Staff is used at numerous pow-wows
and gatherings of Native people. Eagle
feather gathering and use is strictly controlled by the Muggle Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) and BIA, at the behest of tribal elders.
The wing and tail feathers yield very powerful
magic and are used only by certified Medicine Men and Women.
The lesser feathers are among those items that
work for any tribal magic practitioner, and are often used in training
Horses: People of the Plains and the Southwest have a particular fondness for
the horse. Among the Lakota they
are known as Sky Dogs; the Dineh tell the story of Turquoise Boy, who first
brought the horses to live among the People. Horses represent
speed and mobility, and are a status symbol, particularly among the Plains
enough, owls elicit mixed reactions among Native American tribes.
Many consider owls to be bad omens and associate them with death.
(One theory suggests that this is partly because owls were used
by European and later Colonial witches and wizards, and any time any of
them appeared on tribal land, it usually
The Anishinabe fear owls,
which they refer to as "Night Eagles" and consider harbingers
of doom. Even the feathers of dead owls are taboo.
The Sim A No Le (Seminole) of Florida believe that anyone who hears
an owl calling should never answer it; otherwise the owl will carry the
person’s spirit away and s/he will die. 
The Lakota, on the other hand, often use owl or
turkey feathers as substitutes for eagle feathers in costumes and headdresses.
However, in Dakota (Sioux) mythology, Hin-Han, an owl, judges the
souls of the dead, determining whether the soul will cross the Milky Way
to the land of spirits, or be dropped into a bottomless pit. 
Raven: Like Coyote, Raven has the reputation of being a Trickster.
He is figured most prominently in Northwest Coast tribal mythology, where he is credited with
stealing/freeing the Sun and Moon, and with releasing humans from a clam
shell into the world. The Plains
tribes saw Raven and Crow as messengers. (Both birds
are often used in place of postal owls by Plains and Northwest Coast tribes).
Spider: Famed for her weaving, Spider has been honored in a number of tribal
stories, most notably from the Dineh and the KeetoOWah or Ani-yonega (Cherokee).
In the first, Spider Woman teaches the People how to weave blankets
from sheep’s’ wool, so they may keep warm in the winter. In the second,
Grandmother Spider brings the sun to Earth to provide heat and light for
Turtle: represents the earth (which is known as “Turtle Island” by the Haudenosaunee and various other tribes).
Wolves: Most Native American tribes revere the wolf as a Teacher.
Like humans, wolves live in family groups, with
each individual contributing to the pack.
Each wolf, however, is also a distinct individual.
Wolves often use song to communicate.
They cooperate in hunting and in caring for
their pups. Among the Coast Salish,
it is believed that those who hunt in the forest become wolves when they
(If a man hunts sea creatures, he supposedly
becomes a killer whale after death. Killer
whales are credited with many of the same attributes as wolves.)
As with animals, all plants have at least some
magical qualities in Tribal Magic. Even
more so than with Modern Magic, the time and method of harvesting the
plant is crucial, partly because some plant parts are dangerous to
use if harvested at certain times of the year, and partly because the
time and method of harvest can preserve or increase the plant’s magical
Most plants were used for either healing magic
or for food, although some plants (like cornmeal) played parts in other
rituals as well.
Cactus: Probably the best known use of cactus products involves peyote, which
is used by Muggles as a hallucinogen.
However, the skin, the internal pulp, the fruit, and even the needles
of cactuses are used in various potions and rituals by Southwestern tribes.
Corn/Cornmeal: corn is such an important crop for Native
Americans that a Haudenosaunee word for it is de-o-ha-ko, meaning “our life. Corn or cornmeal
plays a part in most of the rituals in the Northeast, and is used often
in rituals of the South and the Southwest.
Cedar: Popular in the Pacific Northwest, used to make magical items (such as containers), or burned; has powers
to repel evil.
Elderberry: Used in many healing potions. Sometimes
the blossoms or bark were made into tea; other parts of the plant were
used as a poultice (a soft pad made of the plant; the pad is usually laid
a wound to speed healing). Elderberries
also make excellent jelly if properly cooked.
Elm: Especially favored by the Native people of the Northeastern United States, elm was used for rattles, houses, canoes, and a variety of other items.
Sage : An “all-purpose cleanser” in the plant world.
Used to purify the area in which the ritual
will be worked, as well as the equipment to be used and the people performing
the ceremony. Believed to alert
Spirit Beings that a ritual will be performed.
Sweetgrass : Similar properties, used mostly by Plains tribes.
Tobacco: Probably the most used plant
among Native Americans as a whole. Tobacco
is actually several different kinds of plants, all having at least one
quality in common -- they enhance the magical energies of almost everything
else. Like many items from certain
animals, tobacco provides magical energy to almost any Tribal Magic practitioner.
The tobacco used by Native Americans was often mixed with other
plants. For example, tobacco was
mixed with the dried inner bark of dogwood, red alder, or red willow,
or the leaves of the sumac to form kinnikinnick, which was smoked by various tribes in the Plains area. This mixture
actually contained few contaminants, and was much healthier to smoke than
present-day commercial tobacco.
Ghosts in Tribal Magic, as in Modern Magic,
are the nonphysical personalities of the dead.
Ghosts, unlike spirits, originally had mortal bodies; spirits have
always been non-material (although able to take on physical form if they
Like ghosts found in many other parts of the
world, ghosts in Tribal Magic have a range of personality types.
In some cases ghosts are seen as helpful; for
example, among the Anishinabe, the Lenni-Lanape, the Shoshone and the
Nuumu (Commanche), ghosts appear as personal helpers or Spirit Guides.
The people in these regions, as well as some
of the Northwest Coast tribes, occasionally appeal to ghosts to aid
them in hunting or to bring game animals into the area.
Many people among the Pueblo
tribes appeal to ghosts to bring rain.
However, in many areas, ghosts have the reputation
of being evil or dangerous. Among
the Plains Indians, for example, ghosts are usually the spirits of slain
enemies, and therefore feared, since they would return to the place where
they had been killed. The same is
true of the chindi, ghosts of
the Southwestern United States.
Chindi are seen as extremely evil and to
be avoided at all costs; the belief is that the chindi is formed when a human dies; all the good or positive traits
of the person’s soul moves on to the afterlife, leaving behind only the
evil. Among the Dineh, homes in
the area haunted by a chindi
are often abandoned.
Why continue the practices of Tribal Magic,
when Modern Magic is perceived by many to be superior?
There are several possible explanations.
A number of magical items exist that can only
be activated or controlled through Tribal Magic rituals; if we lose the
ability to perform these rituals, these items will either cease to function,
or will cause chaos. (This is,
of course, the same reason why most countries have a Misuse of Muggle
Artifacts Department, and the United States is no exception.)
Tribal Magic represents a different way of looking
at magic and the way in which it is used.
For many years, people laughed at some of the
medical and conservation practices used by Native Americans; lately, however,
we have discovered that many of these practices have some very sensible
foundations. We have finally begun
to realize that we must share the Earth and its resources with the rest
of the creatures that live here; this requires us to preserve them and
their habitats; in some cases of rare animals or plants, we may need to
find new ways of working spells that require parts of these creatures
A number of “witch doctor” remedies have been
found to have real healing properties.
The idea that a doctor needs to meet a patient’s mental, emotional,
and spiritual needs as well as the physical ones is becoming more widely
accepted as good practice.
It may be of interest to note that despite the
high percentage of Tribal Magic practitioners among the Native American
people, no tribal group ever developed a sport such as Quidditch or Quodpod,
which can only be played by witches and wizards.
An agent of the BIA once remarked about this,
and was met by puzzled stares from the Native Americans in question.
“Why should we do such a thing?” one Medicine
Man remarked. “That would exclude
some of our people. How would you
feel if it were a game you couldn’t
play?” The idea was
that the community needed to include everyone, regardless of a person’s
abilities or intelligence -- a lesson some of us are still learning.
Part I: Books that Actually Exist:
Bahti, Tom. Southwestern Indian Ceremonies. KC Publications, Las Vegas (Nevada), 1990.
Blackman, W. Haden. The Field Guide to North American Monsters. Three Rivers Press, New York, 1998.
Bonvillain, Nancy. Native American Religion. Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1996.
Bruchac, Joseph. The Journal of Jesse Smoke, a Cherokee Boy: The Trail of Tears, 1838. Scholastic, New York, 2001. (Note:
this book is a work of fiction. Information
used in this paper was taken from the nonfiction Historical Note at
the end of the book.)
Ciment, James. Scholastic Encyclopedia of the North American Indian. Scholastic, New York, 1996.
Cohlene, Terri. Clamshell Boy. Illustrated by Charles Reasoner. Watermill Press, Vero Beach (Florida), 1990.
Cohlene, Terri. Turquoise Boy: a Navajo Legend. Illustrated by Charles Reasoner. Watermill
Press, Vero Beach (Florida), 1990.
Duncan, Lois. The Magic of Spider Woman. Illustrated by Shonto Begay. Scholastic, New York, 1996.
Eppenbach, Sarah. Alaska’s
The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook (
Fronval, George, and Daniel DuBois.
Signals and Sign Language. Wings
Hill, Beth, and Ray Hill.
Petroglyphs of the
Press, Seattle (
Harper and Row,
and Worship in Native
Jumper, Betty Mae.
of the Seminole. Illustrated
by Guy LaBree. Pineapple Press,
), 1994, pg. 93.
See also the story “Witch Owls” on pg. 87.
Koch, Ronald P.
Clothing of the Plains Indians.
), 1977, pg. 8.
of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories and
American Indian Medicine People.
Franklin Watts, New York , 1990.
A Natural History of the
Unnatural World: Selected Files from the Archives of the Cryptozoology
Society of London .
Mails, Thomas E.
of the Plains. Council Oak
Penner, Lucille Recht.
American Feast. MacMillan
Publishing Company, New
Price, John A.
Studies: American and Canadian Indians.
McGraw-Hill Ryerson Unlimited,
Reichard, Gladys A.
Religion: a Study of Symbolism.
Beasts and Where to Find Them. (52nd
edition.) Obscurus Books, Diagon
at Totem Poles.
Press, Seattle, 1993.
World. Time-Life Books,
Return: a North Woods Story. Illustrated
by Greg Couch. Simon and Schuster
Books for Young Readers,
Illustrated by Barry Moser.
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
, 1990, author’s note (unpaged).
Zimmerman, Larry J., and Brian Leigh Molyneaux.
Websites That Actually Exist:
“Death, or Is Life Worth Leaving?” http://www.hyattcarter.com/Death_or_htm
Online. February 18, 2002.
“Native American Herbs and Plants of the Southwest.” http://www.angelfire.com/art/nativeherb/
Online. January 10, 2002.
d’Errico, Peter. American
Indians -- Native Americans: a note on Terminology.
January 30, 2002.
Mizrach, Steve. “Thunderbird and Trickster.” http://www.fiu.edu/~mizrachs/thunderbird-and-trickster.html Online. February 23, 2002.
Welsch, Roger. Dances and music of the Omaha. Internet. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/omhhtml/omhoim4.html Online. January 10, 2002.
Part II: Books We Wish Existed:
Bardolf, Gregor. Wading in the Shallow End
of the Gene Pool. Smallville (California),
1998, pgs. 37 - 41.
The 2002 Witches’ and Wizards’ World Almanac
and Book of Facts, World Almanac Books, New
York, 2001, pg. 264.
Waterboy, Caddie. Sticks and Stones and
Animal Bones: Games the Indians Played. Kitsune Books, Foxtrot
Hill (Pennsylvania), 1927.
Uggums, Dolores. Pigments of the Imagination:
the Art of Prehistoric Cultures. Obelisk
University Press, Avignon
Upstart, Crispin. Indian Givers and
Transparent Treaties: the Hidden Stories of American History.
Beanstalk Press, Salem (Massachusetts),
Author’s Note: Usually I include my standard
disclaimer about which characters belong to what author or other creator,
but in this case, there are no characters -- at least, none that belong
to other authors. The above represents
a research paper that might indeed have been done by a student of the
magical arts in the
United States. It
has been researched and footnoted as properly as possible, and the sources
listed as “really existing” are books and/or websites that anyone can
actually examine if s/he so desires.
Any quotes or paraphrasing actually came from the work cited.
The interpretation of the information, however,
may not be what the author or creator intended.....
In 1979, I was told by the director of our local
summer camp that I would be teaching the “Indian Crafts” area the following
summer. Being a relatively conscientious
person, I decided to do some research on the topic, and thus began my
20+ year interest in Native American culture, crafts, and art.
In the last 20 years, I have been fortunate
enough to have visited a number of museums and visitor centers on several
Native American reservations, including those inhabited by the KeetoOWah
(Cherokee), the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), the Lakota (Sioux), the Dineh
(Navajo), the Hopi, the Sim A No Le (Seminole), and the Tlingit.
I also own a small but thriving library of Native American legends,
myths, and reference books.
As explained in my author’s note in “Spirit
Song”, Native Americans are a diverse group of people.
The best known examples are probably still the
Plains Indians, who have made famous the many-feathered headdress, the
buffalo hunts on horseback, and the tipis.
However, many other tribal groups exist and developed very different
cultures. The people of the Northwest Coast, for example, carved totem poles, lived in
cedar plank houses, and harvested much of their food from the sea.
The Northeastern Woodlands tribes lived in wood
and bark homes (including the famous Longhouses of the Haudenosaunee),
hunted game in the woods and farmed the land.
The people of the Southwest developed beautiful and intricate
sand paintings, carved their homes from stone cliffs, or built them
from wood and earth, and are known for Katchinas.
(Katchinas are spirits of nature, or the dolls that are made
to represent them, or the life-sized spirit representatives in ceremonies.)
The list goes on and on; entire books have been
written about single tribes, never mind the Native American people as
Native Americans have not disappeared; their
numbers are actually increasing. Today
they live in much the same way as the rest of us -- they work, go to
school, participate in sports, and celebrate their personal backgrounds
the way the rest of us celebrate being of Irish or Italian or German
I want to extend thanks to Catherine Cook, who
assisted in this paper by providing background information, several
website addresses, and commentary on the project along the way.
 Upstart, Crispin.
Indian Givers and Transparent Treaties: the Hidden Stories
of American History. Beanstalk
Press, Salem (Massachusetts), 1982.
 The 2002 World Almanac and Book of Facts, World
Almanac Books, New York, 2001, pg. 374.
 d’Errico, Peter. American Indians -- Native
Americans: a note on Terminology.
 Zimmerman, Larry J., and Brian Leigh Molyneaux.
Native North America.
University of Oklahoma Press, Norman (Oklahoma),
1996, pg. 92. **Note: Interestingly enough, “Shaman” actually comes
from a language spoken in Siberia; the word means a prophet or a miracle
 Hillerman, Tony. Skinwalkers.
Harper and Row, New York, 1986, author’s note (unpaged). **Note:
under no circumstances should any magical practitioner
refer to him- or herself as a “witch” when among the Native Americans
of the Southwest. To them,
all “witches”, male or female, are practitioners of the Dark Arts.
 Hultkrantz, Åke. Belief
and Worship in Native North America.
Syracuse University Press, Syracuse (New York),
1981, pg. 71.
 Hill, Beth, and Ray Hill.
Indian Petroglyphs of the Pacific Northwest.
University of Washington Press, Seattle (Washington),
1974, pg. 40.
 The 2002 Witches’ and Wizards’ World Almanac and
Book of Facts, World Almanac Books, New York, 2001, pg. 375.
 The 2002 World Almanac and Book of Facts, World
Almanac Books, New York, 2001, pg. 374.
 Bardolf, Gregor.
Wading in the Shallow End of the Gene Pool.
Smallville (California), 1998, pgs. 37 - 41.
 Bonvillain, Nancy.
Native American Religion.
Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1996, pg. 14.
 Ibid, pg. 14.
 Hultkrantz, pg. 212.
 Liptak, Karen. North American Indian Medicine
People. Franklin Watts,
New York, pg. 29.
 Koch, Ronald P. Dress
Clothing of the Plains Indians.
University of Oklahoma Press, Norman (Oklahoma),
1977, pg. 23 - 24.
 Fronval, George, and Daniel DuBois.
Indian Signals and Sign Language.
Wings Books, New York, 1994, pg. 5.
 Price, John A. Native
Studies: American and Canadian Indians.
McGraw-Hill Ryerson Unlimited, New York, 1978,
pg. 119 - 122.
 Liptak, pg. 43 - 44.
 Mails, Thomas E.
Spirits of the Plains.
Council Oak Books, Tulsa (Oklahoma), 1997, pg. 83.
 Koch, pg. 12 - 13. **Note: The symbolism of notched,
colored, and stripped feathers listed on these pages were recorded
by Muggle researchers. The
feather alterations noted were directly related to deeds committed
during intertribal warfare, and some of the descriptions are not exactly
 Mails, pg. 28.
 Eppenbach, Sarah.
The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook (Connecticut), 1991, pg.
77 - 80.
 Hill and Hill, pg. 37.
 Mails, pg. 25.
 Zimmerman and Molyneaux, pg. 42 - 43.
 Eppenbach, pg. 192.
 Bahti, Tom. Southwestern
Indian Ceremonies. KC Publications,
Las Vegas (Nevada), 1990, pg. 10.
 Liptak, pg. 31.
 Molloy, Anne. Wampum.
Hastings House Publishers, New York, 1977, pg 19.
 Ibid, pgs. 67 - 74.
 Uggums, Dolores.
Pigments of the Imagination: the Art of Prehistoric Cultures.
Obelisk University Press, Avignon (France),
1963, pg. 157-162.
 Blackman, W. Haden.
The Field Guide to North American Monsters.
Three Rivers Press, New York, 1998, pgs. 23-35.
 Ibid, pg. 118 - 119.
 Cohlene, Terri. Clamshell
Boy. Illustrated by Charles
Reasoner. Watermill Press,
Vero Beach (Florida), 1990.
 Blackman, pgs. 39 - 78.
 Ibid, pg. 98-101.
 Scamander, Newt.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Obscurus Books, Diagon Alley (London), 2001,
pg. 25 - 27.
Blackman, pg. 199-200.
 Mails, pg. 20.
 Taylor, Collin. North
American Indians. Siena
Books, Bristol (England), 1997, pg. 19.
 Reichard, Gladys A.
Navaho Religion: a Study of Symbolism.
Princeton University Press, Princeton (New Jersey),
1950, pg. 665.
 Yolen Jane. Sky
Dogs. Illustrated by Barry
Moser. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
New York, 1990, author’s note (unpaged).
 Cohlene, Terri.
Turquoise Boy: a Navajo Legend.
Illustrated by Charles Reasoner.
Watermill Press, Vero Beach (Florida), 1990.
 Upstart, pg. 81-84.
 Jumper, Betty Mae.
Legends of the Seminole.
Illustrated by Guy LaBree.
Pineapple Press, Sarasota (Florida), 1994, pg. 93.
See also the story “Witch Owls” on pg. 87.
 Time-Life Editors.
The Spirit World. Time-Life
Books, Alexandria (Virginia), 1992, pg. 52.
 Koch, pg. 8
 Duncan, Lois. The
Magic of Spider Woman. Illustrated
by Shonto Begay. Scholastic,
New York, 1996.
 Time-Life Editors, pg. 51.
 Hill and Hill, pg. 39.
 Liptak, pg. 49.
 Zimmerman and Molyneaux, pg. 55.
 Penner, Lucille Recht.
A Native American Feast.
MacMillan Publishing Company, New York, 1994,
 Liptak, pg. 50.
 Mails, pg. 27.
 Hultkrantz, pg. 111 - 113.
 Mails, pg. 17.
 Carter, Hyatt. “Death,
or Is Life Worth Leaving?” class=anchora> style='mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family:
 Waterboy, Caddie.
Sticks and Stones and Animal Bones: Games the Indians Played.
Kitsune Books, Foxtrot Hill (Pennsylvania),
1927, pg. 4.