The hashtag skinwalker has been gaining attraction on TikTok. With over 600 million views and counting, it’s clear that many people around the world are fascinated by this creature. But not all #skinwalker content comes from those who know the real story about these creatures.
What is a skinwalker?
The Navajo people have long held a belief in skinwalkers, or “wicked sorcerers” who can transform into an animal and take on its form. A formal name for these beings is yee naaldlooshii which translates to “with it, he goes on all fours.” There are many people who believe that they exist on Native American reservations.
@endless_mythology #endlessmythology #navajoskinwalker #skinwalker #fyp #nativeamerican #mythology #myth #mythologytiktok #scary #scarytok #scarymyth #UnfoldChallenge ♬ original sound – Endless Mythology
For his book Navaho Witchcraft, anthropologist Clyde Kluckhohn speaks with members of the Navajo community. he wrote that he found out that there is a group who are called “skinwalkers”. These people have been believed in Native American culture to be witches and shape-shifting creatures at night when they transform into wolves or coyotes. He added that these “witches” would gather in foreboding places to work dark magic against their victims and engage in various taboo rituals. Among these rituals were incest, corpse defilement, or sibling murder.
Skinwalkers is a creature that only exists in the Navajo community until it made front-page news when one family believed they encountered this creature in 1996. Located on a 512-acre farm in Utah between the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation of the Ute Tribe, the Sherman family lived during an era known for paranormal activity. It wasn’t UFOs that forced them out according to History.com.
The Sherman had a strange encounter with a wolf three times the size of a normal one. Terry Sherman tried to shoot at the creature, but it remained unaffected. The news of these incidents spread and Eventually, the Sherman family moved out and their new owners also experienced eerily similar encounters. The home has been renamed Skinwalker Ranch and is currently used for research.
J.K Rowling’s incorporation of skinwalkers into her wizarding world is something that many Native Americans were not happy about. Potterheads may recall that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling incorporated skinwalkers into her fictional narrative in 2016. It’s been said that many Native Americans were not happy with J.K Rowling’s work, and in an open letter to her they explained why it was such a problem for them.
“We as Indigenous peoples are constantly situated as fantasy creatures… But we’re not magical creatures, we’re contemporary peoples who are still here, and still practice our spiritual traditions, traditions that are not akin to a completely imaginary wizarding world,” Dr. Adrienne Keene, who runs the popular website Native Appropriations, explained.
Legitimate skinwalker content on TikTok.
The skinwalker is a huge threat to the Navajo community and it’s taken seriously. Videos that aren’t created by members of this culture may be viewed as disrespectful. If you want to separate the authentic contents, try searching with #navajotiktok and #navajoskinwalker. However, be warned that not every Navajo is willing to share this with you.