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Native American Legends: The Pains

Name: Pains
Tribal affiliation: Achumawi, Atsugewi, Wintu, Shasta
Native names: Akeki, Axe'ki, Axeki, Tamakoni, Damaagome, Damagomi
Also known as: Pain Spirits, Poison Spirits
Type: American Indian little people, witchcraft spirits, talismans, spirit guides

Pains are tiny magical spirits in the traditions of many California Indian and Northwest Coast tribes. Pains usually take the form of miniature, fairy-like people, although in some tribes they appear as tiny animals or magically powerful inanimate objects. Pains may be summoned by medicine people or witches, or they may remain within a Native American family through generations. In some tribes, Pains are primarily positive spirits, seen as guardians and granters of magical powers (though they can also cause harm to people.) In other tribes Pains are viewed more negatively, associated with disease, curses, and witchcraft (though they can still be a source of healing power to properly trained medicine people.)

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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Annikadel: The History of the Universe:
    Collection of Achumawi mythology and oral history.
Surviving Through the Days: Translations of Native California Stories and Songs:
    Anthology of myths and traditional literature from the California Indian tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Achomawi mythology
 Achumawi tribe
 Shasta tribe
 Atsugewi language
 California American tribe
 California culture group
 Hokan linguistics

Learn more about the Pit River tribe
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