Nunnehi

Nunnehi (Nûñnë'hï) are a type of changeling native to North America.

The Nunnehi are the faerie spirits of the Native Americans. Not only are they the embodiments of the myths, legends, dreams, and possibilities of the native tribes of North America, they also spring from the vision quests and spirit workings integral to those cultures. The word Nunnehi means "people who live anywhere," and they inhabit remote wilderness areas as well as living on the fringes of human society, often combining nomadic and settled cultures. Their townships and enclaves serve as bases for groups of wandering hunters and warriors, who act as guardians against the encroachment of outsiders, including European changelings. Like the mortals whose dreams they personify, the Nunnehi share a reverence for and understanding of the natural world of rocks, plants, and animals. In some ways they serve as a spirit link between nature and their chosen tribes.

Long before the coming of the Kithain, the Nunnehi Nations lived in harmony with the Native American tribes. Though somewhat varied due to differences in concepts and beliefs, many Nunnehi had traits in common. Many were invisible or could become so; some could change size from a few inches tall to gigantic. Almost all were believed to grant favors or bestow curses. Closely tied to both the natural world and the world of the spirits, some served as go-betweens for communications with higher beings or the spirits of the dead. Tribes left gifts to placate their spirit brethren, asked them for guidance, and feared their retribution should anyone insult or anger them. In return, the Nunnehi Nations watched over their "flesh brothers," lending their assistance when needed and teaching tribal dreamers healing and growing magics.

Nunnehi are very different from their European cousins. They do not gather Glamour, but "harvest Medicine." They evince different types than the European faeries as well, having no boggans, sluagh, sidhe, or redcaps. Instead, they are water babies or invisible people depending on which region and tribe they descend from. They refer to these types as Families rather than kith. Nor do Nunnehi refer to themselves as the Kithain. They are the Nunnehi Nations. Indeed, they hardly seem to grasp the concept of being singular, instead referring to a single Nunnehi as "one" to show that the Nunnehi in question is "one of the principal people (of the Nunnehi Nations)." In this, they are much like their flesh brothers, who see themselves as part of and in relationship to the tribe before being individuals. Sadly, they also resemble the tribes in their dislocation from many of their former territories and in their declining numbers.

Those who were left behind when the doorways closed to Arcadia and the Higher Hunting Grounds (the Nunnehi Dreaming) became changelings. The European faeries underwent a changing ritual that shielded them from Banality; the native faeries found highly spiritual people who agreed to act as hosts for the Nunnehi's spirits. The first Nunnehi-human hybrids shared the bodies, with the Nunnehi spirit remaining quiescent within until the host either fathered or became the mother of a child. The Nunnehi spirit then entered the child before birth, fusing its faerie spirit to the child's flesh. Those who had hosted Nunnehi spirits within themselves often became counselors, medicine men and wise women in their tribes due to the insights granted them by their faerie brethren. Nunnehi have most often chosen to re-manifest within the descendants of those they originally inhabited, though any member of the Nunnehi's chosen tribe might be so honored. This has proven to be both a blessing and a curse, keeping the Nunnehi strong and allied with their tribes, while creating grave problems for those whose tribes have become extinct.

The story of the Nunnehi is one of coping with a series of invasions. In each region, certain areas were set aside as homelands or territories for the Nunnehi. These were usually thought to be places of power and great natural beauty such as waterfalls, strange rock formations, stands of woods, particular coves along the shoreline, caves, great trees, or islands found in mid-river or emerging from a dismal swamp. In some cases, this brought them into competition with Garou, who claimed caerns in many of the same regions. For the most part, though, the two groups cooperated rather than competing, and the Croatan, Uktena and Wendigo found natural allies among the Nunnehi. To this day, it is far more likely to find the Native American Garou and the Nunnehi allied than at odds with one another. This is not true with regard to those Garou who are called "the latecomers" — the Fianna, Get of Fenris, Silver Fangs, and others.

Far North & Pacific Northwest

The people of this region are either coastal dwellers or natives of the frozen north. Those who reside along the Pacific Coast are usually referred to as the tribes of the Pacific Northwest, while the Aleuts and Inuits are usually called Eskimos. All these tribes derive much of their livelihood from fishing and hunting, and must cope with the long, cold winters of the north.

The Far Northern Tribes

The Aleuts are a branch of the Inuit who live mostly on the Aleutian Islands. The name came from Russian traders; their own name for themselves is unangan ("the people"). They were adept at hunting and harvesting sea resources from their skin-covered kayaks. They suffered greatly from exploitation at the hands of Russian traders who came to the islands in the mid-18th century.

The Inuit are more familiarly called Eskimo ("those who eat their food raw") They are big game hunters, preying mostly on seal, walrus, caribou and polar bear. On land they use dog sleds, while on water they use kayaks and umiaks. Whenever they must, they still build igloos. The Inuit are found throughout the Arctic, Alaska and Northern Canada. Plans are underway to make a great portion of Northeastern Canada (including Hudson Bay) a homeland for the Inuit.

The Pacific Coastal Tribes

The Chinook live in Washington state. Their trade jargon became the common language used throughout the Northwest, and many interior tribes came to trade furs, mountain-sheep horn and war captives for salmon, shells and other goods. The words potlatch and hootch are derived from their language. Incursions by the European trade companies broke their trade monopoly by introducing diseases that decimated the tribe.

The Haida live on Queen Charlotte Island off the coast of British Columbia. Once hunters of whales and sea otters, they traveled in huge canoes hollowed out ofsingle enormous cedar trees. Known for their totem poles, masks and decorations on their wooden houses, contact with Europeans was devastating to the Haida as they fell victim to smallpox and venereal disease.

The Kwakiutl lived on Vancouver Island in large painted houses decorated with carvings. Their elaborate totem poles and masks are famous. The Kwakiutl fished and warred from huge canoes that featured carved prow figures. They engaged in potlatch feasts and waged war for both prestige and slaves. They had many secret societies, such as the cannibal society.

The Lumni are a Salishan tribe of northwestern Washington. Salmon is their main food, and their ceremonies revolve around salmon and fishing. Lumni women make fine baskets and are renowned for their dog-hair blankets. The Lumni once fought annual ceremonial battles with the Haida for the purpose of capturing slaves. These encounters are still remembered in a yearly warrior ceremony which includes canoe racing and dancing. Their reservation is in Washington.

The Tlingit are the northernmost of the great coastal tribes. They lived in large rectangular houses that were decorated and painted. Like other coastal tribes, the Tlingit fished in big dugout canoes, held potlatches, and made war to capture slaves and booty. Known as great carvers, they produce totem poles, masks, and ceremonial rattles. Tlingit women weave the famous Chilkat blankets and fine multicolored baskets. Their dress is highly decorative, and is often covered with images of eagles and other animals. They live in Alaska.

The Tsimshian are culturally related to the Haida and Kwakiutl. Artistic carvers and weavers of Chilkat blankets, they also fish for salmon, halibut, cod, and shellfish, and once hunted whales. Their original home was in British Columbia. In 1884, a Church of England clergyman persuaded them to move to Alaska, where they are active in both the political and economic life of the state.

CanotiliInuas
Kachinas
May-may-gwya-shi
Nanehi
Nümüzo'ho
Pu'gwis
Rock giants
Surems
Thought-crafters
Tunghat
Water babies
Yunwi Amai'yine'hi
Yunwi Tsundsi


The Nunnehi are a race of immortal spirit people in Cherokee mythology. In the Cherokee language, Nunnehi literally means "The People Who Live Anywhere", but it is often translated into English as "The People Who Live Forever", or simply "The Immortals". The Cherokee believed the Nunnehi to be a type of supernatural human being, completely distinct from ghosts and nature spirits, as well as from gods. In this sense, the Nunnehi (along with the Yunwi Tsunsdi, or "Little People" in the Cherokee language) are the Cherokee equivalent of fairies in traditional European folklore. The belief in fairy-like beings is universal among all ethnicities, including all American Indian tribes.

According to Cherokee folklore, the Nunnehi had many underground townhouses throughout the southern Appalachian Mountains, and they were particularly fond of high mountain peaks where no timber ever grew. Hunters would often hear the Nunnehi in the mountains, singing and dancing and beating drums, but when they would go toward the sound, it would shift about and suddenly seem to be coming from behind them or from some other direction, so that the person hearing the sound would never be able to find where it was coming from.

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