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Panthers play a variety of different roles in Native American mythology. In some Western tribes, seeing a panther or hearing its screams is an evil omen, and panthers are often associated with witchcraft. On the other hand, among eastern tribes such as the Seminoles and Shawnees, panthers were considered noble animals with powerful hunting medicine, and the Panther is one of their major clan animals. In the legends of these tribes, Panther sometimes features as a leader or warrior of the animal people. And among the Pueblo tribes, Mountain Lion is believed to have powerful hunting medicine and considered one of the six directional guardians, representing the north and the color yellow. Several Pueblos had Cougar Societies, and Zuni hunters kept stone panther fetishes for protection, ascribing to them both healing and hunting powers. In South America, panthers were associated with wealth and the earth by the Quechua (Incan) people, and many Quechuas still consider it lucky to catch sight of a panther today.
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