Only the first of four parts of J.K. Rowling‘s “The History of Magic in North America” has been released, but the series is already being blasted for cultural appropriation on social media.
The first installment, released on Pottermore Tuesday, explains the history of wizards and magic in the pre-colonial Americas. It weaves together aspects of Native American culture, such as “skin walkers” and medicine men, with the magical universe of the “Harry Potter” series.
However, some readers online disapproved of what they saw as a “lazy” misrepresentation.
“You can’t just claim and take a living tradition of a marginalized people,” Adrienne Keene, founder of the website Native Appropriations, wrote on Twitter. “That’s straight up colonialism/appropriation.”
Rowling has not yet responded directly to the criticism, but clarified that her story stands apart from the real life history and culture of Native American peoples.
“In my wizarding world, there were no skin-walkers. The legend was created by No-Majes [the word used in the story to describe non-wizards] to demonise wizards,” she explained to a follower on Twitter asking for clarification on the story’s relation to the real world.
See some of the tweets below: