WHAT’S PLAYING: Pussycat Dolls “I Hate This Part”
More creatures and legends from the reservation:
1. Ishkitini “The Horned Owl” – a sinister character believed to prowl about at night killing men and animals. When the ishkitini screeches, it means sudden death or murder. Owls were often associated with witchcraft.
2. Heloha “Thunder” and Melatha “Lightning” – huge birds responsible for dramatic thunderstorms. Heloha would lay her giant eggs in the clouds. They rumbled as the rolled around atop the clouds, causing thunder. Her mate, Melatha, was so fast that he left a trail of sparks as he streaked across the sky.
3. Shilombish “Outside Shadow” – Choctaws believed that every man had a shilombish (outside shadow) and a shilup (inside shadow). After death, the shilup departs to The Land of Ghosts or Heaven, while the shilombish is doomed to wander about its former home. The shadow would often try to frighten the dead man’s family and drive them from the house by imitating the cries of a fox or owl, which were bad omens. The only way to tell the difference between the cries of the shilombish and the animals it imitated is to listen for a reply. When a fox barks, or an owl screeches, another fox or owl replies. But when the shadow imitates the sound of either animal, no response is given.
4. Nahullo – This is a generic term that applies to spirits that never existed as human beings, although some say they were a race of gigantic hunters who lived in western Tennessee and the northern parts of Alabama and Mississippi during the Choctaw immigration. Later, the term was applied to Caucasians due to their pale skin.
WHAT’S PLAYING: Kinna Grannis “In Your Arms”
In keeping with the theme of the season, I thought it would be cool to share some of the ghosts and monsters that followed the Choctaw through the years.
1. Hashok Okwa Hui’ga “Grass Water Drop” – a Choctaw version of the will-o’-the-wisp. At night, only its heart is visible. Anyone who looks at it is led astray.
2. Hoklonote’ she – a malevolent shape shifter who can read people’s thoughts.
3. Kashehotapalo – a man-deer who delights in frightening hunters. The Choctaw admired him for his speed and agility, but if angered, he would race ahead to warn the enemy or animals being hunted.
4. Bohpoli “Thrower” – a mischievous, but not malicious, wood sprite who dwells alone in thick, dark woods. About two feet high, this little man playfully throws sticks and stones at people, and takes great pleasure in hitting pine trees to make noise. All unexplained sounds heard in the woods were attributed to Bohpoli.
5. Okwa Naholo (Oka Nahullo) “White People of the Water” – pale creatures that dwell in deep pools. They sometimes capture humans whom they convert into beings like themselves.
6. Nalusa Falaya “The Long Black Being” – monster that resembles a man with very small eyes and long, pointed ears. Some believe that he prefers to approach men by sliding on his stomach like a snake to frighten them. He can also transfer his power to people, which causes them to do harm to others.
Up next: Part Two.
WHAT’S PLAYING: Kidneythieves “Before I’m Dead”
I’ve been neglecting you guys lately and I’m sorry. Between doctor’s appointments and “treatments” that invariably leave me feeling worse than any illness could, I haven’t had much energy.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though. My condition is curable, but the next few months are going to suck. Still, I am determined to keep moving forward.
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and support.