With the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them eight months away, the Harry Potter author has begun releasing publicity material—sorry, I mean “original pieces of writing”—about the history of magic in North America.
The first in the four-part series—titled, conveniently enough, “Magic in North America”—went up this morning on Pottermore, offering an explainer on what Native American wizards were up to before European colonization.
The legend of the Native American “skin walker”—an evil witch or wizard that can transform into an animal at will—has its basis in fact. A legend grew up around the Native American Animagi, that they had sacrificed close family members to gain their powers of transformation. In fact, the majority of Animagi assumed animal forms to escape persecution or to hunt for the tribe.
Another piece of “Magic in North America” will be published at 9 a.m. each morning for the rest of the week, unless someone convinces the author to stop writing wiki entries about the fictional universe she created 20 years ago.