October 05, 2008

Too many skinwalkers

The Wikipedia entry for skinwalkers lists two dozen uses of the concept in pop culture. You can find skinwalkers in movies, TV shows, books, comic books, and record albums. A few of the references I haven't mentioned before:

  • The first skinwalker film is The Werewolf, a 1913 lost film.
  • A Navajo woman becomes a witch after erroneously coming to believe that her husband has abandoned her. She teaches the same skills to her daughter Watuma, who transforms into a wolf in order to carry out vengeance against the invading white settlers. Then, 100 years after Watuma's death, she returns from the dead to kill again.
  • In the Ben 10 episode "Benwolf," an alien werewolf is believed to be a Navajo werewolf. This episode hints that certain creatures from folklore may actually be aliens, akin to The Roswell Conspiracies.

  • In 2006, Linda Conrad wrote a series of books on skinwalkers for Harlequin's Romantic Suspense line.

  • In 2004, New Mexico punk/psychobilly band, the 12 Step Rebels, released a song titled "Skinwalkers."

  • So the entertainment field has used skinwalkers since 1913, if not earlier. Isn't this a textbook example of an unoriginal concept? How about if we call a moratorium on stories involving Native skinwalkers and werewolves for the next century or two?

    Coming up next? Because of a shaman's curse, a Navajo skinwalker entombed in a burial ground returns as a poltergeist but is bitten by a werewolf and assumes the shape of a wendigo before being possessed by a evil spirit housed in an Indian skull and going on a rampage. Only a skeptical sheriff, a beautiful young scientist, and a wise old Native can stop this creature before it kills again. (Warning:  If anyone steals this idea and makes it into a movie before I do, I'll be really peeved.)

    For more on the subject, see Skinwalkers:  Leaphorn and Chee Do Public TV, SKINWALKER Defies Taboos, Smallville's Super-Indians, Skinwalkers the Movie, and Quileute Werewolves in Twilight.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    I don't remember any "skinwalkers" in the movie Brotherhood of the Wolf.
    And besides that I just wanted to say me being native, I really like this site!