Reindeer/Caribou is frequently associated with the image of Santa Claus as his ever trusting partners to bring joy to countless of children during Christmas day.
If you look at them, they seem to look like a typical type of a deer. What sets them apart from deer?
Reindeers are classified under the deer family, but they are a very special type of a deer. Both male and female caribou possess antlers that they use for protection unlike deer. Compare to deer antlers, their antlers are familiarized by two main trunks: one reaching to the front and one going backward.
At the tip of it, their antler splits into a smaller number of branches, a quality that only reindeers enjoy. Males use their antlers during mating season to secure and uphold their dominance. Male reindeers cast off their antlers after the mating season.
Unlike the male species the female caribou maintain its antler until the birth of the young ones; they use it to protect herself during her nursing period and also to defend their younglings during their most vulnerable period.
Caribou seems to be lacking on its association with myths and folklores. The supreme caribou myth ever told is about Santa and his sleigh, but having said that, this seems to be the most famous myth out of all the animal totems.
Caribou is included in the pages of the myths of Inuit. They believe that caribou is the most significant creature to hunt. The story is about Inuit hunting the toughest Caribou until only the weakest caribou were left. They whine about the weak caribou, they pray to the God and ask for a divine intervention.
Finally the god call upon the strong wolf to feast on the weak caribou, finally the wolf and the caribou became one. Now the Inuit people can hunt the strong wolf as a replacement for the caribou.
Someone with the animal totem of a caribou is someone who loves to travel. These people will feel the need to travel even in the middle of the winter season, and yes, during stormy weathers. Although they find a joy in seeing new places they never forget to return to their own home or at least have a connection to their homeland.
Caribous love to be in the presence of the crowd, not just one of the spectators but as the main character, he is the life of the party. They believe on equality between male and female, but at the same time they thrive to surpass the achievement of the other, making them a bit hypocrite.
They do not think that they are lesser to someone, but due to their outgoing nature, they try not to boast about it. Because of the reindeers attribute to travel safely during the dark times of winter, caribou totems can also survive in their darkest time and they seem to have a knack of surpassing their problems.
The caribou hooves also teaches us to persevere, during the coldest of winter, be independent, you can’t always rely on someone’s help, be independent.
As you can see these creatures are more than just Santa’s companions, but also a tough animal able to protect itself.
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