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Legendary Native American Figures: Animikii (Nimkii)



Name: Animikii
Tribal affiliation: Ojibwe, Algonquin, Ottawa, Shawnee
Alternate spellings: Animiki, Animkii, Nimkii, Nimki, Onimikė, Animikė, Onimiki, Onimiski, Nimki, Nemki, Animike, Nenemki, Nenimkee, Nenemhki. Plural forms are Animikiig, Animikig, Nimkiig, Nimkig, Animikiik, Animkeeg, or Animikik.
Pronunciation: Varies by dialect: usually uh-nim-kee, nim-kee, or oh-nih-mih-kee.
Also known as: Binesi, Wapoothi, Waputhi
Type: Thunder spirit, giant bird
Related figures in other tribes: Thunderbird, Thunderer, Thunder-Being

Animikii is a giant mythological thunder-bird common to the northern and western tribes. Thunder is caused by the beating of their immense wings. Although thunderbirds are very powerful beings, they rarely bother humans, and are treated with reverence by Ojibwe people. Animikii literally means "thunderer," and Binesi means "the great bird."

Animikii Stories

*How the Birch Tree Got Its Burns:
    Ojibwe legend about the Nanabozho stealing fire from Thunderbird to share with the people.
Iyash and the Horned Serpent:
    Severn Ojibwe legend about the Thunderbirds fighting a horned serpent.
*Thunder Son:
    Shawnee story about the son of a Thunderbird.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Ojibway Tales:
    Good collection of traditional folktales told by an Ojibway author.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Ojibwe and other Algonquian tribes.

Additional Resources

 Ojibway stories
 Chippewa language
 Ojibwa words
 Minnesota tribes
 Woodland tribes
 Algonquian language



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