Amy H. Sturgis (eldritchhobbit) wrote,
Amy H. Sturgis

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Halloween Countdown Day 1: Spearfinger

Happy October! Let the countdown commence!

Thank you for joining me for the eleventh year of my blog-a-thon celebration of Halloween. I have some special treats for you this year, including two exclusive interviews and two giveaways, and I truly hope you'll enjoy them.

For today's spookiness, I'd like to quote from the story exhibit at the wonderful Museum of the Cherokee Indian (which I encourage everyone to visit!). Here's what the exhibit says about the Cherokee tradition regarding Spearfinger:

"Long long ago, hilahiyu, a terrible monster lived in the mountains. Her name was Spearfinger, Utlvda, because she had a long, sharp, stony forefinger of bone like an awl. She used to stab people and scoop out their livers -- her favorite food. She had a thick stony skin, but the scariest thing about her was that she could change her appearance to look like your grandmother, or someone in your family. When she got close to her victim, she could stab him, scoop out his liver, and eat it without him even noticing. A few days later he would get sick and die.

"Finally the Cherokees held a council to decide how to get rid of her before she killed everyone. They dug a deep pit, and covered it over with brush and grass. Soon Spearfinger came along the trail, looking like someone's granny, and fell in the pit. Then she changed into the monster that she was, and all their arrows just bounced off her stony hide.

"The titmouse, utsugi, sat on a branch and sang, and the warriors thought it was saying 'heart, heart.' They aimed at her heart, but their arrows and spears bounced off and broke. This is why they say now the titmouse is a liar.

"Then the chickadee, tsikilili, flew down and lit on Spearfinger's right hand, where she kept her heart clenched in her fist. The warriors shot at that, hit her hand, and killed her. Ever since, the chickadee is known as a truth teller."

Tags: halloween, native america

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