Todays post, I decided would be appropriate due to a high volume of questions I've been receiving about the Kushtaka after a recent interview I was part of. My post discusses a few of the main talking points of the Kushtaka and it’s origins.
The Kushtaka is known by the Tlingit and Tsimshian Indians of Southeastern Alaska as a shape-shifting, intelligent creature that roams the forests. Allegedly capable of changing from an Otter to a human form, the Kushtaka are famous for causing mischief. Some eyewitness accounts claim the Kushtaka has drowned individuals in rivers by imitating the cries of women or a baby. Other stories seem to be helpful in nature, such as helping people find their way back to civilization after being lost in the woods, or saving people from freezing to death.
The question that keeps arising is, "Can the Kushtaka exist?" I think it is highly plausible that some kind of creature or entity exists.
The Kushtaka is a creature similar to other Native American folklore such as the Skinwalkers of the South Western United States or the Chullachaqui of Peru and South America. It's unlikely in my opinion that this is merely a coincidence. Many of the tribes or geographic areas where these creatures exist never had contact with each other making the popular theory lose ground.
Back to the Kushtaka!
If the Kushtaka is a living cryptid, it would have to be highly adaptive. For example, the "cries" of women and infants the Kushtaka allegedly makes could be a form of a hunting technique. If the creature feasts on red meat, a call to lure prey could be expected. Many predators in the wild kingdom use different techniques to lure prey, why would a Kushtaka be any different if it were a predator? To say that the Kushtaka would not use a special technique to gather food would be false.
One of my paranormal teammates mentioned the fact that the Kushtaka could be spiritual in nature. This is my personal belief. The Kushtaka are known to shift from an Otter to a human form in seconds giving in powers unknown to nature and man. From my personal experience, I’ve seen tons of apparitions change forms and disappear quickly such as the Kushtaka eyewitness reports.
The helpful and evil nature of the Kushtaka seems to ride along the spirit path of the Kushtaka. If the creature is a ghost or apparition, it would be either good or evil one would think. Maybe the Kushtaka that helps people is a nice spirit while the evil entity is the one that drowns individuals or gets them lost in Alaska's thick forests. It might explain why the Kushtaka is intelligent and picks out certain individuals for its acts.
Folklore says that a Kushtaka also has the powers to turn a human into a fellow Kushtaka. I'm not exactly sure how this would occur, but apparently it does.
Of course there is much more to debate about the Kushtaka, but we'll save that for a different post.
Have any questions or comments? Email me!