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Questions tagged [native-american]

For questions about the mythology of the original occupants of North and South America, excluding Europeans and other peoples coming afterwards.

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How does one become a skin-walker?

Are there any Navajo tales that explain how one becomes a skin-walker? Is it an innate or an acquired ability? Can anyone become a skin-walker, or is there a hereditary element or other constraints?
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What is the significance of the kinds of wood used in sweat lodges?

In The Mountain Chant: A Navajo Ceremony, Washington Matthews describes the construction of a Navajo sweat lodge: At dawn the old man woke them and said: "Go out, my children, and build a sweat-...
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Why do Native Americans think photographs steals their souls?

Native Americans, including some from here, Brazil, are afraid of photos. They don't like it when you take pictures of them because they think that you are stealing their souls. Why do they think ...
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How are bears associated with the world of dreams?

I was looking for information on bear cults when I stumbled upon this little gem: In Native American folklore there are many tales about bears. It is highly respected as the 'keeper of dreams', ...
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How are wendigos/similar defeated?

Or shall I say, what are some beliefs on how wendigos/ witigos/ chenoos (any cannibal ice giant type being from Native American folklore) are defeated?
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What are the earliest known origins of Sasquatches in Native American culture in the Americas?

What are the earliest known origins of Sasquatches in Native American culture of North or South America? Almost everybody has heard about these mysterious creatures known as Sasquatches or Bigfoot, ...
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Prevalence of Underwater Panther

I was researching my tribe's clan history and came across something interesting. Osages, like most American Indian tribes, name their clans after either mythological creatures, or common animals (...
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How did horses become integrated into Navajo mythology?

I've been reading a lot of Native American mythology, and I've noticed that horses play a prominent role in several stories. For example: Looking around, she saw a great white horse with black eyes....
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886 views

What is sásq'ets, from Halkomelem myths?

The modern term Sasquatch is a loan word (first used by Indian Agent J.W. Burns) based on the Halkomelem First Nations people's word sásq'ets. In the myths of the Halkomelem people, what was sásq'ets?...
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In what Native American myth does the Sun stand still?

In this answer, I saw this in a quote-in-a-quote: during the Third Age [equivalent to the Age in which the Popol Vuh places the invention of shooting out such magical darts], the sun stood still ...
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Does Iroquois legend tell where the Sky People came from?

The Iroquois creation myth tells of Sky people that lived in the Sky World. From firstpeople.us: In the beginning, the world was not as we know it now. It was a water world inhabited only by ...
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Are there any points of mythology/religion that all Native Americans have in common?

I have been exposed to some different Native American mythologies and there seem to be many differences. Are there any beliefs or stories that they all share?
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In Ho-Chunk mythos, how was the world created?

I'm interested in creation stories from various cultures. I find it interesting to see similarities and differences between various "origin of man" and "origin of the world" accounts. The Ho-Chunk ...
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According to the myth of the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest, how did people get fire?

Many systems of myth have a mythological explanation for how mankind came to possess fire (the most famous, at least in Western Civilization, is probably that of how Prometheus stole fire). How does ...