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Deer — Tȟáȟča

Deerskins were highly prized for use in clothing and they make a tasty meal, but hunting deer wasn’t always easy. They have an excellent sense of smell and can see for more than a mile. These qualities, along with a swift stride and the ability to hide and endure thirst for long periods, make them quite difficult to hunt for the unskilled hunter.

While deer, tȟáȟča, were thought to aid men on their journey through life, they could be cunning and wary. It was believed a deer had the ability to change form; to appear as a young woman, lead men astray with intoxicating perfume, and then unexpectedly return to its original form.

When men found themselves fooled by the deer, they often had the urge to kill it. If they did, they would be seen as weak and would most likely meet an untimely end or be driven insane. If a man walked away from the deer completely unscathed, he was seen by other members of the tribe to possess great power and self-control.