What is a Skin Walker?
I had never heard of a skin walker until I happened to be doing some research and came across it, it sounded interesting to me, I hope you think so too.
In Native American culture a skin walker refers to someone who has special abilities that allow then to transform themselves into an animal of their choosing, the catch, they already have to be wearing the pelt from that animal. The best known documentation of the skin walker is from the Navajo tribe where a skin walker is called a yee naaldlooshii which translates to “with it, he goes on all fours.” It is believed that the yee naaldlooshii is a Navajo witch, specifically an ’ánt’įįhnii which are human beings who have gained their supernatural powers by breaking a cultural taboo believed by the tribe.
Although both men and women can become skin walkers, they are most often thought of as male as it is generally believed that only a childless woman of the tribe can become a witch therefore then become a skin walker. It is also said that a skin walker can steal the skin, or body, of a person if they lock eyes, the skin walker would then be absorbed into the person. Other lore that describes the skin walker is that their eyes will glow (like an animal’s) in the dark but only when they are in their human form never when they take the animal form. There is also a belief among some Navajo that a skin walker can read the thoughts of humans and that they also have the ability to make any sound they wish, human or animal.
The skin walker has often been described as a mutated version of the animal they are said to be portraying and since animal skins are used by the skin walker the use of animal skins other than sheepskin and buckskin are prohibited by many Navajo tribes. Skin walkers are also described as being as agile and fast making it almost impossible to catch one of these creatures. There are many conflicting stories related to the skin walkers, some state that the skin walker will run if discovered and virtually disappear and others that state the skin walker will break into homes and attack the people inside or will try to lure people from their homes to attack them.
It is also claimed that it is virtually impossible to kill a skin walker, the lore is that in order to kill the skin walker you must first dip the bullets into white ash, even then it is almost an impossibility to catch or kill one of these skin walkers. It is believed that if you happen to recognize the skin walker all you have to do is speak their full name and within three days they will either become very ill or die if they truly were the skin walker.
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