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Native American

This is some information I wrote down after reading it at


Legend of the colors : based upon a Native American Legend

Once upon a time the colors of the world started to quarrel : All claimed that they were the best, the most important, the most useful, the favorite.

GREEN said :

"Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves -
without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority."

BLUE interrupted :

"You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without peace, you would all be nothing."

YELLOW chuckled :

"You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun."

ORANGE started next to blow her trumpet:
"I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes, and paw paws. I don't hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you."

RED could stand it no longer. He shouted out:

"I am the ruler of all of you - I am blood - life's blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy."

PURPLE rose up to his full height. He was very tall and spoke with great pomp:
"I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me - they listen and obey."

Finally, INDIGO spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination:

"Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace."

And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening - thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

In the midst of the clamor, rain began to speak :
"You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don't you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me."

Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands.

The rain continued:
"From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow."

And so, whenever a good rain washes the world, and a rainbow appears in the sky, let us remember to appreciate one another.





Symbolic Meanings

Arrowhead-Represents Alertness.

Buffalo Horns-Symbol of Success.

Cactus Flower-Means courtship and romance.

Corn-Symbol of Life. It is the mainstay for many tribes. Corn pollen and cornmeal is offered in blessing for protection, understanding, and forgiveness.

Corn Maiden-Gave the corn of her own body to feed her family so they would not have to hunt the beloved animals. After she passed on she was reborn in the corn stalks and provided the seeds which continued to provide food for all.

Feather-Sacred universal symbol of flight within the spirit world and serving as messenger to Great Spirit.

Feathers Fanned into a Circle-Related to the Sun and The Creator.

Fetish-Object containing spirit and power which benefits the beholder.

Flowers-Symbolize a relationship to the sun.

Handprint-Symbol of a human's life, achievements and legacy, the creative spirit, channeled energy.

Kachina -A Kachina can be a force of nature such as life, death, fire, flood, or the spirit of a revered ancestor, and the dancer at a ceremony.

Lasso-Symbol of Captivity.

Man in the Maze-Tohono O'odham symbol of life cycles and choice, and eternal motion with the goal of achieving harmony. The man is named "U'ki'ut'l".

Mask-Symbol of a human's animal spirit and prayer to sacred deities.

Medicine Bag-Vessel containing herbs, remedies, and or stones necessary for healing and protection.

Moon-Earth Protector and Guardian in Night

Morning Star-Honored as Kachina by most Pueblo tribes, sign of courage and purity of spirit.

Music-Ritual of communication with Great Spirit with the singer's Life Breath. A method of settling disputes between tribes.

Name-Given, taken away, and changed at life defining events in one's life. Holds power of the individual thus given and spoken with respect and caution.

Peyote-Psychedelic button of the peyote cactus used in religious ceremony to induce spiritual vision and connectedness with higher realms.

Pipe-Used in negotiations of peace and war, to offer sacred tobacco smoke to the four directions, and in religious ceremony.

Plants and Herbs-Represent essentials for survival including food, tools, basketry, and healing.

Prayer Stick-Carved and painted cottonwood or cedar sticks decorated with feathers and images for a specific prayer, planted at sacred sites to send prayers to The Creator or to The Kachinas.

Rain Cloud
-Symbol of change, renewal, and fertility.

Rattle-Ceremonial songs are accompanied with rattles which are often used to represent the characteristic sounds of animals and nature.

Sacrifice-("To Make Sacred") Offerings of food, tobacco, cornmeal, pollen, feathers, shells, beads, herbs, and such given to Spirit and Deities in blessing and prayer.

Saddle Bag-Represents a journey.

Shell-Served as Wampum (money) in trade. Used in decoration of traditional dress and jewelry, as essential utensils of cooking, gathering water, and digging.

Shield-Warrior's most sacred possession from time of first battle until death. The design would be received in a dream by an elder who would then make the shield for the new warrior.

Spiral Pattern-Whirlwinds, cycles of life, eternal renewal and water essential for life.

Squash Blossom-Symbol of plenty, abundance.

Steps Pattern-Represent Kiva steps or clouds, direction and change.

Sun-Earth Guardian in Day, Healing Energy

Sun Face-Giver of life, warmth, growth, goodness.

Tobacco-Sacred Herb used to make offerings, treat disease, seal agreements, and smoked for enjoyment.

Tomahawk-Hatchet-like object used in ceremony and war. Often showed carvings of owners life events. As recognized in trade as the 'Indian blanket'.

Totem-Representing guardian spirits of an individual, family or tribe.

Totem Pole-Northwest tribal tradition, could be exterior and interior pole. Exterior often a memorial for deceased family member or a monument to the bearer's wealth and status, that of his family, and the deities connected with his family. Interior totem poles often recorded family legends and history serving as a family tree.

Wave Pattern-Water and cycles of life, renewal and water element essential for life.

Zia-Symbol of the Zia Pueblo, also represents the sun, the four directions, and the circle of of life.

Yeii Spirit-Navajo irit considered to be a communicator between Man and The Creator. Yeiis control the natural elements.


Animal Symbols

Alligator-Stealth, Survival

Ant-Patience, Diligence and Work

Antelope-Taking Action

Armadillo-Boundaries, Self Protection

Badger: Symbolizes aggressiveness, passion and drive.

Bear: The bear is the protector and symbolizes physical strength and leadership.

Bee-Service, Gathering, Community

Bat-Death and Rebirth on Personal, Spiritual Level

Bird-Unity, Freedom, Community

Buffalo-Abundance, Survival Needs Met, Good Fortune, Healing

Butterfly-Self Transformation, Balance, Grace

Bumblebee-Honesty, Pure Thinking, Willingness and Drive

Caribou-Travel and Mobility

Cougar- Power, Swiftness, Balance

Crane-Water, End of Summer, Migration

Cricket-Singing, Spring, Fertility

Crow-Sacred Law, Gateway To Supernatural, Shape Shifting, Illusion

Coyote: Sometimes considered an omen that bad things could happen. Is also considered a trickster.

Deer: Symbolizes speed and family protection.

Dog-Protection and Loyalty

Dolphin-Joy, Harmony, Intelligence, Self Connection

Dove-Love, Gentleness and Kindness

Dragonfly-Dreamtime, Illusion, Spring, Water

Dragonfly: He is often considered a messenger.

Eagle: Often considered the protector, carrier of prayers, visions & spirits.

Elk-Stamina, Pride, Power, Majesty

Frog: Symbolizes renewal, fertility & springtime.

Hummingbird: Symbolizes devotion, permanence and eternity. This is a strong symbol in disguise because although the hummingbird is small in stature, it is extremely determined in it's own territory.

Loon: Symbolizes peace, tranquility, and generosity.

Moose: Symbolizes scrutiny and attention to detail.

Owl: The owl is a very respected animal and is thought to symbolize the souls of the departed. They are connected with darkness and night and are considered a bad omen.

Parrot: Parrots are considered bringers of specific prayers and could bestow blessings.

Pheasant: Symbolizes warning and concealment.

Porcupine: Symbolizes gentle innocence and trust.

Rabbit: Symbolizes fear and overcoming limiting beliefs.

Snake: The snake is usually seen in healing and fertility rites. He is often considered a hunter.

Tadpole: Tadpoles are very powerful, they are a symbol of fertility, change, and renewal.

Turtle: This is a very powerful symbol for women. It symbolizes fertility, long life, and perseverance. It is sometimes even considered able to defy death.

Wolf: The wolf is the teacher of new ideas and wisdom. It shows intense loyalty with a balance of independence.




IKTOMI is a spider fairy. He wears brown deerskin leggins with long soft
fringes on either side, and tiny beaded moccasins on his feet. His long black hair is
parted in the middle and wrapped with red, red bands. Each round braid hangs
over a small brown ear and falls forward over his shoulders.
He even paints his funny face with red and yellow, and draws big black rings around his eyes. He wears a deerskin jacket, with bright colored beads sewed tightly on it. Iktomi dresses like a real Dakota brave. In truth, his paint and deerskins are the best part of him -- if ever dress is part of man or fairy.

May-may-gway-shi (Rock Fishers): The rock fishers are from the stories of the many tribes of the Abnaki Confederation. They were reputed to be able to vanish into rock to escape pursuers, and to be able to make fishing more plentiful. Indeed, the may-may-gway-shi are able to pass through solid rock, and may even pilot a vehicle through rock. They are also able to summon fish to any body of water. They fondness for fish makes them easily manipulated or trapped, though. In their fae miens, the may-may-gway-shi are short and agile, with a fine otter like pelt of water resistant fur covering their arms and legs, and long flowing hair.

Rock Giants: Rumored to be the children of the Cannibal spirit among the Iroquois, rock giants are known for their strength, ferocity, and ravenous appetites. Rock giants are as strong as trolls, and not nearly so morally encumbered with such an inconvenient sense of honor. Difficult to hurt under the best of circumstances, they are impervious to weapons of rock and stone. These Nunnehi are also avoided on account of their legendary tempers. If they are insulted, or their bravery or prowess is called into question, nothing will keep them from exacting revenge upon the one who offended them. Though their personalities usually make friends rare, those that do befriend a rock giant will usually find them to be extraordinarily loyal and steadfast companions. In their fae mien, a rock giant appears to be a gigantic (troll-sized) human encased in an outer shell of rock.

Nanehi The nanehi are one of the more helpful faerie types of Cherokee legend. The nanehi are traditionalists, historians, artists and musicians. They are able to physically alter their size and appearance, to enhance or lower their looks, and to make themselves look younger or older than their actual age. They excel in all forms of performance, especially if the performance involves traditional songs, dances and stories. Nanehi are vain to a fault, and have difficulty resisting flattery. Conversely, any insult to their appearance, or any adverse conditions on their appearance affects them badly. Nanehi, in their fae form, appear as idealized versions of the tribes of their mortal kin, with lustrous dark hair and striking faces.

Thought-Crafters: The thought-crafters come from tales told by the Algonquin tribes, and they usually reside among the remnants of the Algonquin tribes scattered between Maine and Virginia. In addition to being skilled crafters and artisans, the thought-crafters are dedicated to opening the ways to the Higher Hunting Grounds to all Nunnehi again. The thought-crafters are especially dextrous, and quick witted, and they are skilled in physically manipulating objects, as well as solving riddles and puzzles. They are especially skilled at inspiring others and may restore lost Glamour to changelings, and bring creativity back to mortals who have lost it. The fae form of a thought-crafter resembles idealized versions of their mortal kin.

Yunwi Amai'yine'hi ("People of the water"): Shape changing tricksters that protect bodies of water, the yunwi amai'yine'hi come from Cherokee legend. Many stories of fishermen being rescued by friendly water creatures come from encounters with these fae. Like pooka, the yunwi amai'yine'hi may change shape into animal form, their animal must be some sort of water creature though. They also possess an uncanny ability to control water, causing it to be still or otherwise. If they are in animal form and are caught by a trap, hunter or fisherman, they often tend to panic like an animal, and not be able to use their powers or intelligence to escape. In their fae mien, the yunwi amai'yine'hi tend to have traits of their animal affinity, much like pooka. Their large eyes resemble pools of their chosen body of water.

Yunwi Tsundsi ("Little People"): Cherokee legend also tells of elusive but helpful little people. The yunwi tsundsi are able to make themselves inconspicuous, not invisible, but rather unseen. They are also very skilled crafters. Though they tend to be helpful to mortals, they have terrible tempers when their work is insulted, or their help is scorned. When this happens, they will usually prank the offender mercilessly until they have properly apologized, or until a phase of the moon has passed. In their fae miens, the yunwi tsundsi appear as normal humans, but rarely stand over five feet tall.

Canotili ("Tree Dwellers"): The Indians of the Plains or Great Lakes told tales of diminutive warriors: strong, agile, and frightening despite their small stature. The canotili were known as patrons of hunters and archers as well, and the best were said to have been blessed by them. The canotili possess a chameleon-like ability to blend in with their surroundings, and have enhanced strength and dexterity. If a canotili is surprised, they exude a powerful pheromone that causes panic in all non-canotili present. The uncontrollability of this power makes it more of a disadvantage than a benefit. Canotili look much like smaller versions of the Plains or Great Lake Indians in their fae mien. Their fingers and toes are longer than normal, and they all have eyes that glow in the dark.

Tunghat ("Green Dwarves" or "Owners"): The stories of the tribes of the Plains, Plateau and Basin told of dwarvish masters of animals. The tunghat were those that placed animals in the path of the most worthy hunters, and made sure that the animals that were unlikely to survive the next winter were the ones slain in the hunt. All tunghat are bound to a certain animal type. They are able to cover themselves with an illusion that makes them appear as this animal type, and they are able to summon and communicate to some extent with the animals of their chosen kind. It is possible for a tunghat's illusion to start fooling even them if they maintain it for long enough, until they start to believe that they actually are the animal in question. The tunghat, in their fae forms, are small green people with darker green hair, teeth and nails.

Kachinas: The kachinas were said to come from the spirit world, teaching the rituals, songs and dances necessary for survival in harmony with nature to the Southwest tribes. The kachinas value ritual above all else, believing that rituals create a link between the Earth world and the spirit world, and enough such links might allow access to the Higher Hunting Grounds someday. Kachinas are able to make rain, and to make plants grow if the proper rituals are performed by their mortal tribes. They are also able to transform themselves into clouds. The kachinas have a tendency to specialize in one skill though, all other pursuits becoming secondary. The kachinas tend to change their fae appearance as they grow older, looking more or less normal until their elder years, when they seem to shrink down to resemble living versions of the kachina dolls fashioned by their mortal kin.

Surems (Yaqui "Little People"): Easily the most peaceful of the Nunnehi nations, the surems are opposed to loud sounds and any sort of violence. Surems are able to project an air of serenity around them that will calm those in the area, it is difficult to become angry or agitated under this influence. They are known for their congeniality, and have advantages in social situations. However, surems are so commited to finding peaceful solutions to problems that they have great difficulty forcing themselves to resort to violence even in extreme circumstances, or even speaking harshly. In their fae forms, surems are usually about 5 feet tall and solidly built, with broad pleasant faces.

Water Babies: Seen as evil spirits that steal human children and pull mortals into lakes and rivers to drown them, in the legends that they figure in, the water babies have to deal with the mistrust and misinformation of others constantly. It's true enough that they steal away human children, but only those who have been abandoned, orphaned or abused. They also will sometimes drown certain mortals, but only those that have despoiled the waters that the water babies protect, or those who have committed crimes against children. Water babies are able to breathe underwater, and allow those touching them to breathe there also. Also, when a water baby chooses to take vengeance on someone, their strength increases to help them pull the victim in the water and drown them. If the intended victim is actually innocent, their strength will not increase, and they will know that they are mistaken, and will release the victim. Water babies are dependent on water, and if they are kept from immersing themselves in a water source for more than two days, they will begin to die. In their fae miens, water babies appear androgynous (legends indicated that all water babies were female because of this), have silvery eyes, webbed hands and feet, and gills.

Pu'gwis (also "Bukwus"): Horribly ugly, cursed beings who are among the most tragic of all of the Nunnehi. Pu'gwis long for love and friendship, but their hideous seemings make these goals nearly unreachable. Ironically, they are gifted singers, and are able to summon those who hear their songs to them. They also can also sing a song to cause those who they failed to win over to forget them. The pu'gwis have the faces of rotting corpses, with yellowed eyes that almost seem to decay in their sockets. This decay extends to their physical form, making them physically weak, as well as mortifyingly ugly.

Inuas ("Spirit Helpers"): Born of the dreams of the northernmost tribes, the Inuit and the Aleuts, inuas were the helpers of the shamans, aiding these mortals in communing with the spirits and in enforcing the taboos. To aid them in this task, the inuas have the ability to invest powers from their Arts into amulets to be used by the mortal shamans. Inuas are also able to change into animal forms native to their region. Though they are able to change into more than one type of animal, it is difficult and takes practice to learn to move in several different forms. Inuas look much like members of their tribes. Most wear "labrets", plugs of ivory, bone or other hard material inserted into the skin to make a chin decoration. When advising a shaman, they prefer to be in animal form; usually an animal important to the welfare of the tribe.



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