Don't Delete

The Skin-Walker is an Animagus BUT due to differences between indigenous no-maj and European muggle cultures, I think that we should keep it as a separate entry - but let the entries know about each other. (Vaudree (talk) 17:37, March 8, 2016 (UTC))

Totem versus Skin-Walker

The Totem section of wik says:

"A medicine man should never be confused with a practitioner of the witchery or frenzy way. In the Navajo culture there is a clear distinction between a witch and a medicine man. Medicine men practice healing arts, blessings and the removal of curses. Any Navajo practicing the witchery way is believed to be evil; the intent of such practice is purely to harm others of their own tribe and rarely people outside of it." [1]

What Pottermore says:

"In the Native American community, some witches and wizards were accepted and even lauded within their tribes, gaining reputations for healing as medicine men, or outstanding hunters. However, others were stigmatised for their beliefs, often on the basis that they were possessed by malevolent spirits.

The legend of the Native American ‘skin walker’ – an evil witch or wizard that can transform into an animal at will – has its basis in fact. A legend grew up around the Native American Animagi, that they had sacrificed close family members to gain their powers of transformation. In fact, the majority of Animagi assumed animal forms to escape persecution or to hunt for the tribe. Such derogatory rumours often originated with No-Maj medicine men, who were sometimes faking magical powers themselves, and fearful of exposure." [2]

The difference between the two is that, according to JKR, both wizards and No-Majs took the role of Medicine-men. However, no-maj Medicine men all real magic as practicing the Dark Arts. What Wikipedia says

"The Navajo people have a very strong emotional bond with the Earth and the plant and animal kingdoms that are so much a part of their everyday lives.[citation needed] Certain animals are more sacred to some individuals, families and tribes. They believe these animals bless, heal or guide the people and become totem animals.

Totem animals are honored with their likeness in the dress, dance, music and artwork of the people. The traits and characteristics of the totem animals were thought to be gifted to the people who developed a deep friendship with the spirits of these helpful creatures. Some individuals believed they developed such a deep connection with nature and her "magic" that they could talk with the plants and animals and bring knowledge of medicine and other healing arts to their tribes. These few adepts became medicine men, healers, or wise ones.

Medicine men were believed to be able to travel to other states of being, through the gifts of their totem animals. They were said to often be seen wearing the skin of the animal that they believed granted them this power and would sometimes be seen in animal form." [3]

"The Anishinaabe, like most Algonquian-speaking groups in North America, base their system of kinship on patrilineal clans or totems. The Anishinaabe word for clan (doodem) was borrowed into English as totem. The clans, based mainly on animals, were instrumental in traditional occupations, intertribal relations, and marriages." / "Some national sub-divisions were simply referred by their major Clan component. An example of this would be Maandawe-doodem ("Fisher-clan") of the Meshkwahkihaki peoples, who live along the south shore of Lake Superior. More inland than the Maandawe-doodem were the Waagosh-doodem ("Fox clan") of the Meshkwahkihaki, who are called the Fox Tribe in English. When the Maandawe were defeated in a major battle between the Ojibwe and the Meshkwahkihaki peoples, the surviving Maandawe were adopted as part of the Ojibwa nation, but instead as the Waabizheshi-doodem ("Marten clan"). Among some Ojibwe people, (though not all) the Waabizheshi clan is also used to denote a form of adoption, i.e., a non-native father and Ojibwe mother. In other instances, for example, odoodem communities such as the Amikwaa were treated as fully interdependent Nations of the Anishinaabeg Confederacy, or given a designation to represent their primary function in the social order, such as with the Manoominikeshiinyag ("Ricing-rails") or the Waawaashkeshi-ininiwag ("Deer[-clan] Men").

Some doodem indicate non-Ojibwe origins. Other than Waabizheshi, these include the Ma'iingan-doodem (Wolf Clan) for Dakota and Migizi-doodem (Eagle Clan) for Americans. There are other odoodem considered rare today among the Ojibwa because the odoodem have migrated into other tribes, such as the Nibiinaabe-doodem (Merman Clan), which shows up as the Water-spirits Clan of the Winnebagoes." [4]

What Pottermore says:

"The Native American wizarding community was particularly gifted in animal and plant magic, its potions in particular being of a sophistication beyond much that was known in Europe. The most glaring difference between magic practised by Native Americans and the wizards of Europe was the absence of a wand."

I don't know what JKR means about being particularly gifted in animal magic - whether that statement should be associated with our understanding of skin-walkers or not.

The idea of the European animagus is specific to the individual, but the idea of totems seems to associate a specific animal with the entire group. Not sure if this will come up or not, but, since JKR says that Indigenous no-maj beliefs are different that what truly goes on among Indigenous witches and wizards - that we are likely to learn more information than less is another reason to keep the entry open. (Vaudree (talk) 17:37, March 8, 2016 (UTC)) (Vaudree (talk) 17:51, March 8, 2016 (UTC))


Should the image from the Pottermore trailer be included in this article? It could simply depict a Native American Animagus. Starstuff (Owl me!) 22:28, March 8, 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. This is highly likely, given that skin walkers do not exist in the HP universe. We could include it on the Animagus page instead. Perhaps we should add a History section to the Animagus page.--Rodolphus (talk) 22:31, March 8, 2016 (UTC)

Ignore my deleted comment - this is the talk for Skin-walker rather than Native Americans so doesn't apply. (Vaudree (talk) 20:18, March 16, 2016 (UTC))

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