Native American Animagus

A Native American Animagus.

Skin-walkers were, according to the folklore of the indigenous people of North America, evil witches or wizards that could transform into an animal at will, having gained their powers of transformation through the sacrifice of close relatives.[1]

Even though the legend was somewhat based in fact (there were actually Native American Animagi, who used their powers to mostly to escape persecution or hunt for the tribes), the damaging rumour was spread by unscrupulous No-Maj medicine men, who were faking magical powers and feared exposure.[1] Real "skin-walkers" never existed, being nothing but a tale to demonise wizards.[2]

Behind the scenes

  • In the legends of certain Native American people, most notably the Navajo of the Southwestern United States, skin-walkers are a type of human shapeshifter with the power to transform into any animal. Some traditions hold that skin-walkers must wear the skin of an animal in order to be able to transform into it.[3][4] Rowling's depiction of the skin-walker drew unfavourable responses from the people of Navajo, who were uncomfortable with her drawing sympathy for an evil figure in their mythology.[5]


Notes and references

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