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J.K. Rowling Just Dropped Some Intriguing New Info On American Wizards

Rowling is rolling out new information about North American wizards all throughout this week.

Tuesday morning, J.K. Rowling released the first installment of her new writing about magic in America on Pottermore. Here's what we learned:

1. Wizards knew about America before Muggles did.

2. "Muggle" in America is called "No-Maj," which stands for "No Magic."

3. From the Middle Ages on, the Native American magic community was in contact with the magic communities in Europe and Africa through magical transportation and "visions and premonitions."

.@ridd1kulus No, there was mutual respect and a sense of kinship between all wizards, no matter what their race.

4. The ratio of magical to non-magical folks seemed consistent everywhere.

5. Some Native American witches and wizards built reputations as healers or hunters in their tribes, but others were stigmatized or believed to be possessed by evil spirits.

6. The skin walker legend ("an evil witch or wizard that can transform into an animal at will") was actually based on Native American Animagi.

.@Weasley_dad In my wizarding world, there were no skin-walkers. The legend was created by No-Majes to demonise wizards.

7. Many of the negative rumors surrounding Native American Animagi came from No-Maj medicine men, some of whom pretended to be magical and were afraid of being found out.

8. However, most Animagi used their powers to hunt for their tribes or to escape persecution.

9. Native American wizards were adept at animal and plant magic, especially potions — which were more sophisticated than in Europe at the time.

10. The major difference between Native American and European magic was that Native American wizards didn't use wands.

11. Wands originated in Europe, and they channel magic to increase the magic's precision and power.

.@ReadyFeddie As children, wizards often produce accidental magic when they feel strong emotion. Wands help control and channel this power.

12. Because of this, high quality wandless magic is considered the mark of a great witch or wizard.

.@bluesrgt Yes, nearly all wizards use wands, which makes magic easier to channel. Wandless magic is sophisticated and takes more talent.

13. However, wandless magic can also be very complex, as shown by the Native American wizards — but Charms and Transfiguration can be extremely difficult without using a wand.

.@dwmw24601 @bluesrgt Exactly. Wands and brooms (and flying cars) are tools that channel magic. The most gifted can dispense with them.

You can read J.K. Rowling's new piece on Pottermore here.