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White stag

Artist's Rendering

White Stags are otherworldly spirit like creatures notable in Celtic, pre-Indo-European and Native American mythology. These creatures are described as having supernatural qualities, such as walking on hind legs and vanishing.

In Europe[]

The white stag is a familiar creature of myth and legend. Its origins are likely in the totemic period of early Indo-European society, particularly the northern societies of the Celts and pre-Indo-European cultures, whose subsistence was gained not only through agriculture, but through hunting. This dependence on deer may be seen in the zoomorphic Celtic god Cernunnos, depicted as being a man with the antlers of a deer. The white stag in Celtic myth is an indicator that the Otherworld is near. It appears when one is transgressing a taboo--such as when Pwyll tresspassed into Arawn's hunting grounds, or when Peredur entered the Castle of Wonders in his second adventure at the house of the Lame King. It also appears as an impetus to quest--the white stag or hart often appears in the forests around King Arthur's court, sending the knights off on to adventure against gods and fairies. In Arthurian legend, pursuit of the animal represents mankind's spiritual quest.

In North America[]

According to Protectthewhitedeer.com, "In Native American mythology there is the Chickasaw legend, Ghost of the White Deer. There is also a Lenape legend about white deer that predicts that when a pair of all-white deer is seen together, it is a sign that the indigenous peoples of the Dawnland will all come together and lead the world with their wisdom. Many tribes and indigenous peoples throughout the world have similar myths. The Seneca, Roanoke, Algonquin, Nanticoke, and Pocomoke tribes all relate sightings of the Great White Deer."

Explanation[]

Albino deer are deer that lack pigmentation and have a completely white hide and pink eyes, nose and hooves. Piebald deer are much more common with some studies showing the trait may show up in one in 1,000 deer. Albinism is much rarer and may only be observed in one in 30,000 deer.

Sources[]

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