Day 23: White Animals

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

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We’ve talked a little bit about the significance of black animals like the “boogers” in Ozark folklore, e.g. they are often supernatural creatures, they are sometimes ghosts in animal form, they are sometimes witches, they are sometimes used to terrify children. Now I’d like to talk a little bit about white animals. These hold a lot of the same significance for Ozark people as black animals do. It seems they are both viewed with a certain amount of suspicion and are often believed to have supernatural powers. From what I can tell, however, there aren’t the same associations with witchcraft as there are with black animals. White animals are often associated with ghosts and spirits of the land, some are also considered symbols of luck, others as omens of death.

Here are some examples from Vance Randolph’s “Ozark Magic and Folklore.”

“It is very generally believed that the appearance of…

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