Weasel skin, Indigenous Peoples, North America


Weasel skin with tail detached. Possibly associated with shamanic ritual and therefore regarded as a sacred object perhaps worn from a belt or suspended from a shaman’s shoulders. The skin may also represent a personal guardian spirit believed to assist and protect a person. A common way to acquire a guardian spirit was through fasting or privation. In hallucinations or dreams the spirit was believed to reveal itself, and commonly took the form of an animal.