The Sugar Quill
Author: Seldes Katne (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: An Overview of Tribal Magic  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.


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 explorers.[1]

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 theory.

(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.[2]


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 India ), 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.[3]

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”[4]. 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,[5] which denotes a Medicine Man/Woman or a Medicine Singer.   Among the Dakota, the term is wepiye,[6] and among the Gitskan of the Northwest Coast, a shaman is called a halaait.[7]  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 in duration.

  General 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 mind.)

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.[8]   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[9]) 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 prophecy.[10]

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 same end.

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.”[11]   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.[12]

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.[13]   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).  

  Important 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.[14]

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.[15]

Sign Language:

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 Bundle.

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.[16]


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 rituals themselves.

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.[17]

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).

Magical Items:

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.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20] 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 Magic.

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.[21] 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 Plants section.)

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 house posts.   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.[22]

Symbols and Glyphs:

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 down rain.   (The rain would raise the river level and allow or encourage the fish to come upriver.[23])   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.[24]

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 spirits?   We may never know.

Kinomagewapkong (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”.[25]   (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.

Shore glyphs , 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,[26] 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.[27]   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.[28]   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[29]), 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.[30]   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.

Spirit Companions/Guides:

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 species.  

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.[31]   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 between individuals.

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.

  Magical Beasts:

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 twenty-five.

Sasquatch 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.[32]   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.[33])   The conversion of the natural habitats into towns and cities has also taken a toll on these   creatures.   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.[34]   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 Orient.

Lake/River Monsters: 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, Nevada.[35]

Thunderbird(s): 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.[36]

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.

Wendigo/Windigo: 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[37]); 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 feeds.

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.[38]

  Magical Animals:

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 here.

  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.[39]

Buffalo: Figuring strongly in the magical practices of the Plains tribes, the buffalo represents long life, plenty, and leadership.[40]   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 of Shamans.

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.[41]   (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 case.)  

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 students.

Horses: People of the Plains and the Southwest have a particular fondness for the horse.   Among the Lakota they are known as Sky Dogs[42]; the Dineh tell the story of Turquoise Boy, who first brought the horses to live among the People.[43]   Horses represent speed and mobility, and are a status symbol, particularly among the Plains tribes.

Owls: Interestingly 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 meant trouble.[44])   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. [45]

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. [46]

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.[47]  (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.[48]   In the second, Grandmother Spider brings the sun to Earth to provide heat and light for all creatures.

Turtle: represents the earth (which is known as “Turtle Island” by the Haudenosaunee and various other tribes).[49]

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 die.   (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.)[50]

Magical Plants:

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,[51] 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 quantities.  

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.[52]

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.[53]   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.[54]

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.[55]   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 so choose).

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.[56]

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.[57]   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.[58]

Final Thoughts:

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 to work.   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?”[59]   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 Southeast .   The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook ( Connecticut ), 1991.

Fronval, George, and Daniel DuBois.   Indian Signals and Sign Language.   Wings Books, New York , 1994.

Hill, Beth, and Ray Hill.   Indian Petroglyphs of the Pacific Northwest .   University of Washington Press, Seattle ( Washington ), 1974.

Hillerman, Tony.   Skinwalkers.   Harper and Row, New York , 1986.

Hultkrantz, Åke.   Belief and Worship in Native North America .   Syracuse University Press, Syracuse ( New York ), 1981.

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.

Koch, Ronald P.   Dress Clothing of the Plains Indians.   University of Oklahoma Press, Norman ( Oklahoma ), 1977, pg. 8.

Lake-Thom, Bobby.   Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories and Ceremonies.   Plume Books, New York , 1997.

Liptak, Karen.   North American Indian Medicine People.   Franklin Watts, New York , 1990.

Levy, Joel.   A Natural History of the Unnatural World: Selected Files from the Archives of the Cryptozoology Society of London .   St. Martin ’s Press, New York , 1999.

Mails, Thomas E.   Spirits of the Plains.   Council Oak Books, Tulsa ( Oklahoma ), 1997.

Molloy, Anne.   Wampum.   Hastings House Publishers, New York , 1977.

Penner, Lucille Recht.   A Native American Feast.   MacMillan Publishing Company, New York , 1994.

Price, John A.   Native Studies: American and Canadian Indians.   McGraw-Hill Ryerson Unlimited, New York , 1978.

Reichard, Gladys A.   Navaho Religion: a Study of Symbolism.   Princeton University Press, Princeton ( New Jersey ), 1950.

Scamander, Newt.   Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.   (52nd edition.)   Obscurus Books, Diagon Alley ( London ), 2001.

Stewart, Hillary.   Looking at Totem Poles.   University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1993.

Taylor, Collin.   North American Indians.   Siena Books, Bristol ( England ), 1997.

Time-Life Editors.   The Spirit World.   Time-Life Books, Alexandria ( Virginia ), 1992.

Wood, Douglas.   The Windigo’s Return: a North Woods Story.   Illustrated by Greg Couch.   Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York , 1996.

Yolen Jane.   Sky Dogs.   Illustrated by Barry Moser.   Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York , 1990, author’s note (unpaged).

Zimmerman, Larry J., and Brian Leigh Molyneaux.   Native North America.   University of Oklahoma Press, Norman ( Oklahoma ), 1996.

Websites That Actually Exist:


Carter, Hyatt.   “Death, or Is Life Worth Leaving?”   Online.  February 18, 2002.


Johnson, Pat.   “Native American Herbs and Plants of the Southwest.”   Online. January 10, 2002.


d’Errico, Peter. American Indians -- Native Americans: a note on Terminology.     Online.   January 30, 2002.

Mizrach, Steve.   “Thunderbird and Trickster.” Online. February 23, 2002.

Welsch, Roger. Dances and music of the Omaha.   Internet.   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 (France), 1963.

        Upstart, Crispin.  Indian Givers and Transparent Treaties: the Hidden Stories of American History.  Beanstalk Press, Salem (Massachusetts), 1982.

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 a whole.

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 descent.

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.

[1] Upstart, Crispin.   Indian Givers and Transparent Treaties: the Hidden Stories of American History.   Beanstalk Press, Salem (Massachusetts), 1982.

[2] The 2002 World Almanac and Book of Facts, World Almanac Books, New York, 2001, pg. 374.

[3] d’Errico, Peter. American Indians -- Native Americans: a note on Terminology.     Online.   January 30, 2002.

[4] 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 worker.

[5] 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.

[6] Hultkrantz, Åke.   Belief and Worship in Native North America.   Syracuse University Press, Syracuse (New York), 1981,   pg. 71.

[7] Hill, Beth, and Ray Hill.   Indian Petroglyphs of the Pacific Northwest.   University of Washington Press, Seattle (Washington), 1974, pg. 40.

[8] The 2002 Witches’ and Wizards’ World Almanac and Book of Facts, World Almanac Books, New York, 2001, pg. 375.

[9] The 2002 World Almanac and Book of Facts, World Almanac Books, New York, 2001, pg. 374.

[10] Bardolf, Gregor.   Wading in the Shallow End of the Gene Pool.   Smallville (California), 1998, pgs. 37 - 41.

[11] Bonvillain, Nancy.   Native American Religion.   Chelsea House Publishers, New York, 1996, pg. 14.

[12] Ibid, pg. 14.

[13] Hultkrantz, pg. 212.

[14] Liptak, Karen. North American Indian Medicine People.   Franklin Watts, New York,   pg. 29.

[15] Koch, Ronald P.   Dress Clothing of the Plains Indians.   University of Oklahoma Press, Norman (Oklahoma), 1977, pg. 23 - 24.

[16] Fronval, George, and Daniel DuBois.   Indian Signals and Sign Language.   Wings Books, New York, 1994, pg. 5.

[17] Price, John A.   Native Studies: American and Canadian Indians.   McGraw-Hill Ryerson Unlimited, New York, 1978, pg. 119 - 122.

[18] Liptak, pg. 43 - 44.

[19] Mails, Thomas E.   Spirits of the Plains.   Council Oak Books, Tulsa (Oklahoma), 1997, pg. 83.

[20] 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 pleasant.

[21] Mails, pg. 28.

[22] Eppenbach, Sarah.   Alaska’s Southeast.   The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook (Connecticut), 1991, pg. 77 - 80.

[23] Hill and Hill, pg. 37.

[24] Mails, pg. 25.

[25] Zimmerman and Molyneaux, pg. 42 - 43.

[26] Eppenbach, pg. 192.

[27] Bahti, Tom.   Southwestern Indian Ceremonies.   KC Publications, Las Vegas (Nevada), 1990, pg. 10.

[28] Liptak, pg. 31.

[29] Molloy, Anne.   Wampum.   Hastings House Publishers, New York, 1977, pg 19.

[30] Ibid, pgs. 67 - 74.

[31] Uggums, Dolores.   Pigments of the Imagination: the Art of Prehistoric Cultures.   Obelisk University Press, Avignon (France), 1963, pg. 157-162.

[32] Blackman, W. Haden.   The Field Guide to North American Monsters.   Three Rivers Press, New York, 1998, pgs. 23-35.

[33] Ibid, pg. 118 - 119.

[34] Cohlene, Terri.   Clamshell Boy.   Illustrated by Charles Reasoner.   Watermill Press, Vero Beach (Florida), 1990.

[35] Blackman, pgs. 39 - 78.

[36] Ibid, pg. 98-101.

[37] Scamander, Newt.   Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.   (52nd edition.)   Obscurus Books, Diagon Alley (London), 2001, pg. 25 - 27.

[38] Blackman, pg. 199-200.

[39] Mails, pg. 20.

[40] Taylor, Collin.   North American Indians.   Siena Books, Bristol (England), 1997, pg. 19.

[41] Reichard, Gladys A.   Navaho Religion: a Study of Symbolism.   Princeton University Press, Princeton (New Jersey), 1950, pg. 665.

[42] Yolen Jane.   Sky Dogs.   Illustrated by Barry Moser.   Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1990, author’s note (unpaged).

[43] Cohlene, Terri.  Turquoise Boy: a Navajo Legend.   Illustrated by Charles Reasoner.   Watermill Press, Vero Beach (Florida), 1990.

[44] Upstart, pg. 81-84.

[45] 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.

[46] Time-Life Editors.   The Spirit World.   Time-Life Books, Alexandria (Virginia), 1992, pg. 52.

[47] Koch, pg. 8

[48] Duncan, Lois.   The Magic of Spider Woman.   Illustrated by Shonto Begay.   Scholastic, New York, 1996.

[49] Time-Life Editors, pg. 51.

[50] Hill and Hill, pg. 39.

[51] Liptak, pg. 49.

[52] Zimmerman and Molyneaux, pg. 55.

[53] Penner, Lucille Recht.   A Native American Feast.   MacMillan Publishing Company, New York, 1994, pg. 10.

[54] Liptak, pg. 50.

[55] Mails, pg. 27.

[56] Hultkrantz, pg. 111 - 113.

[57] Mails, pg. 17.

[58] Carter, Hyatt.   “Death, or Is Life Worth Leaving?”   class=anchora> style='mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;font-family: Garamond;mso-bidi-font-family:Garamond'>   Online.   February 18, 2002.

[59] Waterboy, Caddie.   Sticks and Stones and Animal Bones: Games the Indians Played.   Kitsune Books, Foxtrot Hill (Pennsylvania), 1927, pg. 4.  

Write a review! PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of reviewing a story or piece of art at the Sugar Quill is to provide comments that will be useful to the author/artist. We encourage you to put a bit of thought into your review before posting. Please be thoughtful and considerate, even if you have legitimate criticism of a story or artwork. (You may click here to read other reviews of this work).
* = Required fields
*Sugar Quill Forums username:
*Sugar Quill Forums password:
If you do not have a Sugar Quill Forums username, please register. Bear in mind that it may take up to 72 hours for your account to be approved. Thank you for your patience!
The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For questions, please send us an Owl!

-- Powered by SQ3 : Coded by David : Design by James --