JK Rowling Tale Disenchants Native Americans

Native Americans are less than spellbound by JK Rowling's new story, angrily charging her with stereotyping them.

They say the Harry Potter author's History of Magic in North America, which chronicles the magical New World in the 14th to 17th centuries, is culturally insensitive.

Rowling's 413-word tale, published on the Pottermore website on Tuesday, tells how wizards lived among Native American tribes.

The writer adapts the Navajo legend of "skinwalkers", who could change into animal form, like the Animagi in the Potter books.

But Cherokee academic Adrienne Keene accuses Rowling of "completely re-writing these traditions".

"You can't just claim and take a living tradition of a marginalized people. That's straight up colonialism/appropriation @jk_rowling," she tweeted.

The scholar also criticised Rowling's use of the phrase "the Native American community".

"There is no such thing as one 'Native American' anything," Keene wrote on her blog, Native Appropriations.

Navajo blogger Brian Young said he was "broken hearted" when he read Rowling's story.

"My ancestors didn't survive colonization so you could use our culture as a convenient prop," he said.

Another tweeter, who goes by Ojibwe Writer Mari, also took issue with the Rowling tale.

Fantastic Beasts is due to be released in 2016.

"It burns me is that white authors' stories about Natives will drown out actual Native authors' stories. @jk_rowling profits from this," she tweeted.

The tale is the first in a four-part series tied in with this November's premiere of a new Potter movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The second story in the series was published on Wednesday morning.

James And Oliver Phelps

In it, Rowling explores the Salem witch trials and the role of the "No-Majs", the American equivalent of Muggles, or non-magical humans.

Two more stories are due on Thursday and Friday.

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