I wish American schools taught as much American folklore and mythology as they do European. It’s a shame that I know all kinds of Irish fairy stories and minor figures Greek mythology, but am hard pressed to name any of the monsters and spirits native to the land I was born on. Native American spirits and stories are fascinating, and occasionally absolutely terrifying, as described in this video.
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In this video, Lakota storyteller Chante’ Reddest, who posts under the handle @lakotalightning, shares a snippet of traditional superstition about a creature out of Native American legend. In the video, set to a bouncy bit of bossanova, he plays two people caught in a rainstorm. One warns the other to get inside, while the other insists it's just a bit of rain…that is, until he hears the branches breaking. The scene gives way to some artistic renditions of an unnamed, totally creepy monster.
Though non-Native viewers in the comments section were a bit confused, those with Native backgrounds reminisced about their grandmother’s warnings or racing each other for the door as children, jokingly threatening that the last one to go inside would be left as bait for the monster.
The creature in question is known as a Kanontsistóntie’s, or “Flying Head”. The Flying Head monster is a creature out of mainly Iroquois legend. It is depicted as a giant, disembodied head (larger than a man), with long tangled hair that flies through the night and devours people. In some variations and languages, its name even means whirlwind, as it is associated with storms.
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Reddest’s TikTok is filled with stories from a variety of Native traditions.