oso45-70, I think you're wrong about the Navajo snake bone necklaces. I recently returned from living with the Navajo for seven years in Chinle, AZ, and let me assure you that the Navajo think all snakes are very bad medicine. They will never kill a snake and will not wear or fool around with any articles like belts or boots with any snakeskin. It's sympathetic magic; the presence of the snake skins, bones, dead bodies, etc, will attract the relatives of the deceased and they will be set on revenge. Some bad Navajo will practice witchcraft by sprinkling powdered dead rattlesnake around the hogans of their enemies. When bitten by a rattler they think the swelling is due to the snake having injected them with a large quantity of air. They will go to the hospital for treatment but as soon as possible will seek out a medicine man for a Lightning Way ceremony (because snakes and arrows are related to lightning). The Hopi, neighbors of the Navajo, do use rattlers in religious ceremonies and the Navajo claim that the Hopis will even eat snakes (so the Navjo look down on them). Now, since snakes are related to lightning (which accompany rain storms), when one comes across a snake it is proper to show respect for the snake and ask it and its relatives to help bring the rains. During my years on the Rez I had many close encounters with rattlers, including having one crawl across my foot when I was exploring an abandoned cabin out in the desert. My Navajo friends assure me that his happened because I had an hour earlier taken a picture of another rattlesnake and the image in my camera caused this one to appear. Now I'm living in the hills of Alabama where there are many more varieties of rattlers and where they grow gigantic compared to their brethern in the desert. Far removed from my Navajo friends I'm waiting to get one large enough to eat. So... thanks for all the great cooking tips.