THE HISTORY OF MAGIC IN NORTH AMERICA talks Native American wizards!
It’s here! J.K. Rowling has released the first short from her The History of Magic in North America web short collection.
Now, let’s talk about what we took away from this first bit of history.
1) Witches and wizards knew about the Americas long before Europeans began settling there.
Thanks to magical transportation, communication, and prophecies, wizards and witches all over the world knew about the Americas long before as European muggles “discovered” it or came to settle there. While the European muggles were still trying to overcome feudalism in the Middle Ages, the wizards were all connected!
2) There’s an even distribution of witches and wizards throughout the world.
Magic knows no boundaries and doesn’t favor any particular regions or cultures, according to Rowling. “The overall ratio of wizards to non-wizards seemed consistent across populations,” she says in the story. Unfortunately, it also seems like the general attitude toward magical folk is about the same everywhere– not very inviting.
3) Native American Animagi powered the ‘skin-walker’ legends.
The Native Americans have legends of evil magicians known as skin-walkers to can disguise themselves as animals. In Rowling’s mythology, the skin-walker legend with made by jealous native no-maj (the American term for “muggle!”) who wanted to discredit their Animagi competition as medicine men.
4) Native American wizards are more skilled in animal and plant magic than most others.
The earliest North Americans weren’t just magical, they were experts! Particularly when it came to plants, animals, and potion-making, which makes lots of sense given the culture’s respect and love of the natural world.
5) Magic wands were invented in Europe and were not part of America’s early magical culture.
We know that exceptionally powerful witches and wizards don’t always need a wand, but up until now, we thought most of the population did. Nope! It turns out early Native American wizards didn’t use wands at all, but they were still able to use their powers with aplomb. Wands were a European invention used to help focus for specific types of magic– mainly Charms and Transfiguration– but they were never actually necessary. Who knew?!
J.K. Rowling will share more details via The History of Magic In North America short story collection tomorrow at 2pm EST on Pottermore!