This month dedicates itself to one Native American folklore often used but not well understood outside of the cultural belief. Someone capable of shifting to animal shapes and can haunt you to your last breath. It is with much carefulness that we present a terrifying legendary monster native of North America.
First of All
When I started writing, I promised myself that I would have Native Americans in each of my stories. Some may ask why, and this is my answer: I live in the French province of Quebec in Canada where many older people sharing the bloodline of Native Americans suffered shame from other cultures.
Me, I am proud and taught my grandpa, who raised me, to be proud of his blood and magnificent rich ancestry. My grandfather was Native American, part of the Mohawk people to be more précised. On my grandmother’s side, while she was Acadian, she did also share some Native American blood we believed to be Ojibwe.
While the mystical creature in question belongs to the Navajo culture, when I researched the subject of folklore and legends belonging to Native Americans from the south due to my novels heading back and forth I stumbled upon the Skinwalkers. To my surprise, while mostly spread in the Southern states it also crossed over to others.
I immediately asked my 2nd cousin—I’m an only child. Thus they are my mother’s cousins if she knew about the Skinwalkers despite being Ojibwe.
“Yes, we are all aware of them now. It is part of a few First Nation folklores including Mohawk, and carries much horror with it. Not many likes to talk about it.”Tracy Toffoli
Hush in Respect
I promised myself and everyone when I created Gothic Bite Magazine that I would respect the legends and folklore to the best of my knowledge and those of the writers. I do know that this particular folklore is not one that is easy to talk about due to its secrecy and for a good reason.
I am careful with every word I use and therefore, this month is for the respect of one mythical creature belonging to people I share my ancestry with and have much respect for in every way.
I wanted to bring in history, facts, and respect. With a quite popular series such as Supernatural among others either televised or written, many folklores, borrowed from various cultures and First Nations are not an exception. However, some forget that sometimes particular creatures are better left undisturbed.
So this month, we promise only to share what is already public about the dark mythical being that is a Skinwalker shared among a few First Nation cultures, though mainly Navajo and Mohawk. We are not demystifying the legend but merely share what it means and what it implies so that if one decides to bring such a being in their artistic creation, they do know what it means and carries with it.
Consider Yourself Warned
Among First Nations, Skinwalkers are a subject of silence and taboo. Sometimes because people are afraid of the repercussion, it might imply or sometimes, by the respect of the elders carrying the weight of such a being part of their folklore.
Was I curious to know more? Of course! I’m a history nerd and passionate about the paranormal! I dug more and more into the legend, and I stopped. I stopped for respect. I realized that if this subject was so dark that it had created an entire nation to keep it silent, it was for a reason and I would respect that.
Then, I turn on the television and see the Skinwalkers used in series, movies, and books. I decided I would bring my research to light so that at the very least, the readers of Gothic Bite Magazine would know that this particular monster no one should mess with under any circumstances.
Next Week: The Dark Side of the Witch.