How Panther Got Tear Marks

$30.00 each


This story, told in Karuk and English relays important messages to children as it reveals why Panther has tear marks.


This is a story about Panther. Despite his mother-in-law's warnings to him, Panther disobeys and leaves his family for many years. Upon his return, his wife and son are transformed in to a pine tree and a rock and Panther cries so hard his tears never wash off his face. Almost every Native American tribe in California has stories about Panther (or Mountain Lion as he is sometimes called) How the Panther Got Tear Marks is just one story about Panther from the Karuk Tribe of the Klamath River area of Northern California. There are many others.


This story, told in Karuk and English by Violet Super, explains why Panther still has tear marks on his face to the present day, but also,  within the context of the explanation, there is an important lesson to be learned by those who hear it. The video includes beautiful footage of the Klamath River region and an introduction and traditional singing by Leaf Hillman.

How the Panther Got Tear Marks is a great video on its own but is also part of the Indians of Northwest California: History, Social Science, and Literature Based Curriculum Units for grades 3-5 developed by the Title VII Indian Education Program in Hoopa California. The entire  curriculum is also available from Oyate.




Produced by: Karuk Tribe of the Klamath River

Format: DVD, color, live action and animation, 12 minutes

Availability: Available in VHS or DVD

Published: 1992 VHS;  DVD 1992

Tribes/Ethnic Groups: Karuk