Wednesday, April 5, 2017

All the Creatures in All the Land

True or no, makes for good stories

Every now and then, I need to introduce a new “creature” to my fantasy series, The World In-between.  Where do I find them?

In the past, I have used European established myths like Griffins (Hope) and Frost Giants (Bow of the Moon) or I created my own like the Faematask, Night Golems (both in Bow of the Moon), Fire Walker, and Vindalf (both in Secrets of the Sages).

For this book (Dreamweaver), I am tapping into Native American mythologies.  “Native American” and “American Indian” are umbrella terms that encompass the many different cultures of North America.  Unfortunately, much of the histories, mythos, and lore of the peoples of the Americas were destroyed and American archeology is nowhere as extensive as other parts of the world.  With that said, a lot is being preserved and retold within tribal communities and by tribesmen (and tribeswomen) on the internet.

Personally, I am interested in learning about the pre-Iroquois peoples of my region.  The history of the Americas and its people are fascinating.  And there is plenty of lore to tap beyond Big Foot.  In my research, I found an entity common to a multitude of cultures for who each had their own name.  Translated from the various native names: Stone Giant.

Stone Giants were said to have covered themselves in dirt and stones which made their appearance rough and their “hide” impenetrable to weaponry.  In some cultures, they had settlements and were able to converse with the people.  In others, they were as dumb as the rocks of their hide.

I am using a combination of traits for my Stone Giants, who I call Thunenhyarhen.  They will have formed settlements, be vicious, and seem mentally slow, but that might just be the language barrier.

Some speculate that Stone Giants originate from the early Vikings who traversed the Atlantic to settle in North America.  Others say that giants did walk across North America and that the Stone Giants are memories from early Native Americans passed down through the generations in their story telling.  Or that the people created stories about giants after finding enormous bones.

Many cultures around the world have versions of giants.  Not unlike dragon myths found across the globe.  From where do they stem?  It could be from an array of sources.  Without a time machine, however, I doubt we will ever know for certain.  What I do know is that I enjoy pondering lore from everywhere and using it in my fiction.