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The Kikuyu of Kenya believed that owls were harbingers of death; If a person should see an owl or has the misfortune of hearing its cry, that someone was going to perish.
Amongst Africans, in general, owls are seen as messengers of bad fate, ill health, or dying. The feeling is widespread even today.
Owls as carriers of otherworldly menace when they warn misbehaving kids,
"the owls will get you!"
In most Native American customs, owls are a representation of death.
In some tribal myths, owls are connected with souls of the deceased, and the structural circles about an owl's eyes are the nails of supernatural human apparitions.
Owls are also messengers from beyond that deliver supernatural warnings.
The Aztecs and Maya considered owls as symbols of death and destruction.
Mayan religious texts describe owls as messengers of from the "Place of Fright".
For the Hopi, an Uto-Aztec tribe, taboos surrounding owls relate them to sorcery and evil.
Canadian Aboriginals also see owls as a symbol of very high spiritual status, besides relating to death.
The Pawnee saw them as symbols of transcendent protection.
The Yakama use owls as powerful totems forest guides.
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