JK Rowling has come under fire for cultural appropriation after posting a piece on the history of North American magic on Pottermore.
The post goes into detail about the Navajo legend of Native American 'skin walkers', evil witches or wizards that can transform into an animal at will - with Rowling drawing links between them and Animagi: "A legend grew up around the Native American Animagi, that they had sacrificed close family members to gain their powers of transformation."
This hasn't gone down well with a lot of people, with Dr Adrienne Keene of the Cherokee Nation, who is a post-doctoral fellow in Native American studies at Brown University, writing: "Native spirituality and religions are not fantasy on the same level as wizards. These beliefs are alive, practised, and protected.'
Responding to the suggestion that the Native American history is akin to magic, Dr Keene said: "It's not "your" world. It's our (real) Native world. And skin walker stories have context, roots, and reality."
"We fight so hard every single day as Native peoples to be seen as contemporary, real, full, and complete human beings and to push away from the stereotypes that restrict us in stock categories of mystical-connected-to-nature-shamans or violent-savage-warriors.
Adding that the post could lead to a lot of confusion in young people understanding Native American history, she continued: "How in the world could a young person watch this and not make a logical leap that Native peoples belong in the same fictional world as Harry Potter?"
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