"Not Your Grandmother's Monster Hunter"
We're at the powwow when
a strange-looking man asks if he
can brush the seeing-eye gremlin.
I boggle at him for a minute,
then manage to say, "... why?"
"I hunt monsters, but not to kill them,"
he explains. "I take their fur, or wool,
or quills, then sort what I get so that it can
be used to make regalia for people who
dance the Monster Twins or Hero Twins."
"That sounds extremely dangerous,"
I say, shaking my head in bemusement.
"Usually I work while they're hibernating,
but that one looks friendly enough," he says.
"Besides, my sister works with porcupine quills
and my brother grades deer hair for roaches.
It's an extension of the family business."
Well yes, a seeing-eye gremlin
has to be comfortable with people.
So I ask my daughter, who is fine
with the idea, and we give permission.
It's interesting to watch him work, and
by the time he is finished with the grooming,
the seeing-eye gremlin has never looked so good.
* * *
Monster Twins and Hero Twins appear across a wide range of tribes, although it can be difficult to find references for them due to obscurity, diverse nomenclature, and people telling anthropologists to fuck off. Each tribe has its own styles of regalia for special occasions. As many myths are re-enacted for ritual or other purposes, masks and outfits sometimes resemble mythic figures and can be quite dramatic in appearance, such as kachina dancers. Some regalia involves exotic materials.
Quillwork is a tribal art that requires sorting porcupine quills for embroidery or other projects.
A roach is a broad category headdress that can use various types of hair such as deer and porcupine hair. Once again, these must be sorted before use.