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Shapeshifters

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  • 1. By Whitney Bond
  • 2. Shapeshifter myths can be found in almost every region of the world.The oldest being in Romania or Greece. The most basic definition is that they are either a being (usually human) with the ability to change its shape into that of another person, creature, or other entity or they are involuntarily changed into it by someone else They very popular within early mythology and folklore In General Most commonly known is the Werewolf Many authors believe that they were used to explain serial murders in early day cultures
  • 3. In some Native American cultures they hold a legend of people with the ability to transform into animals by wearing the pelt or a piece of the pelt of the animal. In the Navajo culture they have shapeshifters that are witches called the yee naaldlooshii who have killed a member of their family or has committed another cultural taboo and has done a specific ritual which has given them the power to turn into any animal they wish.These skinwalkers are greatly feared and rarely talked about within the culture. Folktales have been told that a lot of skinwalkers turned duringThe Long Walk and ran away to escape white men's oppression The only way to kill a skinwalker is to dip a bullet in white ash and shoot him with it. Skinwalkers
  • 4. In Japanese lore foxes are intelligent being who posses magical abilities, one of these abilities is to change into human form. In some legends they use this ability to play tricks on humans but in other legends they are faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives. A fox can only gain the ability to shapeshift after it reaches a certain age (some legends say 50, most say 100 years old).They are normally beautiful women but are also known to take on the form of young girls and elderly gentlemen. In some legends they have difficulty hiding their tales which is the most popular way of telling a kitsune from a human, other ways of telling a kitsune is sometimes they will have a fine coating of hair, a fox shaped shadow, or reflective eyes. Kitsunes
  • 5. In the Japanese culture the Tanuki or Japanese Raccoon Dog is known to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absentminded. They are generally portrayed as males. Tanuki’s can shapeshift by putting a leaf on their head and would often take human form. Tanuki’s shape shifting isn’t limited simply to human form or even into a breathing form, in one famous folk story ‘Bunbuku Chagama’ a Tanuki father transforms himself into a Japanese style teakettle which his wife sells to an antiques dealer to make money for his family. Most commonly they use their shapeshifting to get free food and drinks, and many of their tricks, such as kidnapping brides and impersonating them to attend a wedding feast, are simply to get good food and drink. Tanuki
  • 6. Native to South America, especiall Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia, the Kanima is a werejaguar. In some tribes shamans were thought to have the ability to turn into jaguars. Female were-jaguars are thought to have an extra pair of nipples. A woman with an extra pair of nipples are immediately suspected of being this creature. In the early 1900s legend of this creature ran to rampant that infants were killed or abandoned to keep them from turning.This stopped after 1920s when a law was passed declaring any infant suspected of being a Kanima was considered the president’s godchild. Kanima
  • 7. Were-hyenas of African and Eurasian cultures, they are generally considered negative beings. In Ethiopa it is believed that Blacksmiths and Metalworkers, especially if the trade is past through generations, are thought to be wizards and witches with the ability to change their shape into hyenas. In the Sudanic people, were-hyenas are normally magically powerful healers, blacksmiths, or woodcutters. Bouda The Berber people generally regard Bouda’s as women or men who nightly turn into hyenas and turning back into human form at dawn. Many Ethiopian Christians believe that they are Ethiopian Jews that unearth Christian corpses and consume them at night; Jews of this region are commonly blacksmiths which may be the connection between the beliefs.
  • 8. Selkies are from Iceland, Ireland, and Scotland. Unlike most shapeshifters their original form is seals and when they choose to walk to the shore they change into beautiful humans. According to legend if a man finds the skin of a female selkie he may force her to be his wife but only if he can keep the skin hidden. Once she finds her skin she will leave him and her children behind to rejoin the sea. On the other hand male selkies commonly like to seduce dissatisfied women. All a woman has to do is stand at the shoreline and shed 7 tears into the sea and a beautiful selkie male will appear to comfort her. Selkie
  • 9. Are minor nature deities in Greek culture.They inhabit the mountains, woods, waters and seas of the world. They are always in the form of beautiful women and are attendents to Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Nymphs Every element has its own type of Nymph. oreads lived in the mountains, while the naïads were nymphs of the water, such as the spring and lake.The nymphs of the trees were called dryads, hamadryads, alseids and meliae.The Nereïds were sea-nymphs. They’re known to change into trees, springs, or flowers when startled or in need of an escape by unwanted advances
  • 10. The most commonly thought of shapeshifter is the werewolf. Most of the legends of werewolves come from Europe though the belief has spread to all around the world. In some legends a witch has either cursed the person or has given them a salve to be able to change into a wolf. In other legends there was also a simpler way by, like Skinwalkers, putting on an enchanted belt made from a wolf’s pelt. It was also seen as a divine punishment, in which, like a witch, a saint could curse a person to become a werewolf. Some ways to tell a werewolf in human form were if the eyebrow met at the bridge of the nose, low set ears, swinging stride, and, if cut, had fur underneath the skin. In wolf form it is most commonly said to be exactly like a wolf but with no tail ( a common sign of a witch in animal form) and the eyes and voice of a human. Werewolves
  • 11. In Greek myth there was an evil king of Arcadia named Lycaon who had 50 sons. One of these sons, Nyctimus, angered his father and was killed and prepared into a dish. Hearing the evilness Lycaon had been doing Zues decided to test him, he transformed himself into a poor beggar and asked the king for shelter.The king obliged and gave him a plate of cooked Nyctimus. Zues, sensing that the dish was made of human, became angered and threw the table over, killed the sons with lightening, and transformed Lycaon into a giant wolf.The wolf ran into the country side, followed close behind by the king’s hunting dogs who ended up killing him. The FirstWerewolf….